While the 2019 Pew Center research revealed that only 50% of Americans think religions is mportant in one’s life, many are taken aback by Trump’ lack of morality; oftentimes leading to questions about his religious upbringing or the seeming lack of it. In a June 2020 poll conducted by Morning Consult for POLITICO, only about 50 percent of all Christians who responded to the poll think that Trump is not religious, while only a third think he is religious. .
Trump Was Raised According to the Gospel of Norman Peale
Actually, Trump was born and baptized as a Presbyterian, but during his formative years, Trump’s grandfather and father became avid followers of Norman Vincent Peale. So much so that when Peale wrote and published “The Power Of Positive Thinking in 1952,” the book became an important source of inspirational thoughts in the Trump household. At the time when Donald Trump was 26 years old, Dr. Peale chose to serve as head pastor of the Marble Collegiate Church, using the pulpit to spread his motivational teachings.
Naturally, the Trump family transferred their place of worship and religious affiliation to the Marble Church, and on Sundays, religiously attended Peale’s worship services and listened to his teachings. Even if it meant driving a good 13 miles away from Queen, the church became the Trump family’s place of religious worship. In fact Donald and his two sisters’ marriages were officiated there, as well as the funeral services of Trump’s parents Fred and Mary.
Who was Dr. Norman Peale and What Religious Influence Did He Have on Donald Trump?
Trump is often described and criticized by his opponents, including former allies with whom he had a falling off, as someone who is childish, narcissistic and delusional. At the same time, he tried to mask his inferiority complex with unbelievable self-assurance. Yet once people get to know who know what Dr. Peale taught his followers, one will get to understand why Trump is the way he is.
Peale attracted many affluent members of New York’s business community, particularly the corporate CEOs, because his theology combined worldliness and godliness. His main teachings were inculcating self-confidence and strong faith in one’s abilities as philosophies in life.
In his other books, Peale enumerated 10 rules that his followers must follow, mostly about believing in one’s self, overcoming feelings of inadequacies and most important of all, form an indelible mental picture of one’s self as successful. Peale’s advice was to tenaciously hold on to that image, no matter what happens, especially when things look bad.
Many called Peale as “God’s Salesman” and his teachings “Gospel of Optimism.” His critics though called him a con-man, and his church a cult.
What the Family of Dr. Peale Thinks of Donald Trump
Although Trump and Dr. Peale later developed a close friendship, to which The Donald had nothing but praises for the now deceased pastor, Peale’s son John now 79, cannot say the same for Trump. In a 2016 phone interview by The Washington Post, John said Trump’s frequent mention of his father’s name during campaign rallies is actually a problem for the Peale family. The minister’s son said he cringes and winces whenever Trump invokes Dr. Peale’s name and that he regrets the publicity of their connection.