The faith of Donald Trump has been much deliberated upon. Some believe Trump’s faith is questionable and only timely convenient to the evangelical practice because of the election and its appeal to voters. Others believe he’s always had strong faith, but that his faith is resurfacing stronger than ever due to his fight for America.
In an NPR interview excerpt with Michael Cromartie, who is a member of a think tank that examines the role of religion in politics and culture, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, he and host Steve Inskeep discuss Trump’s upbringing and his involvement with the Catholic faith.
Here is an excerpt from the interview, as well as why this information is important to Trump’s possible presidency:
CROMARTIE:[Trump] was baptized in a church called the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City, which was famous for having a pastor named Norman Vincent Peale.
CROMARTIE: Now, Peale was the author of a best-selling book called “The Power Of Positive Thinking.” And if Donald Trump grew up in that church – and we don’t know how often he went there. His parents went there. If he grew up in that church, and he imbued what Peale taught, it’s really about having positive thoughts. Don’t have negative thoughts. Be self-confident. Be – don’t be self-critical.
It emphasizes the self and not the faith. There’s more an emphasis on the self-image, as opposed to God. It emphasizes the repetition of confident phrases. We can see something of the formation of Trump from looking into the life and work of Norman Vincent Peale.
INSKEEP: When you say the repetition of confident phrases, there’s the man’s rhetorical style in a nutshell, I suppose.
CROMARTIE: Absolutely. And the lack of an ability to be self-critical or to handle criticism – when you’re focused constantly on yourself and on having a positive self-image, if you hear negative comments from others – we see what’s happened with candidate Trump. He’s very sensitive to criticism. And so Peale’s whole emphasis was on thinking – that the way you think will govern the way you live.
While Cromartie gives a critical assessment of Trump’s possible lack of faith in God, it’s rather more important to note that Trump’s pastor imbued positive messaging. Much of the liberal media tries to lament Trump as a figure of negative energy, but in contrast, Trump as imbued with the value of self-confidence, which is truly needed for an anti-establishment leader.
Trump’s self-confidence may hinder some of insights due to his ego, but that isn’t such a bad thing. Wouldn’t we rather have a leader who has the self-confidence to make a hard decision, instead of an establishment crony politician who feebly falls upon political correctness and public (liberal) opinion? Trump’s strength in faith and self-confidence could prove to be more needed to get the job done than red tape, tip toe politics.
Cromartie’s labeling of Trump’s supposed apathy toward God is probably far off, but he nails it on the head about Trump being a conduit of positive thinking and self-confidence to get the job done. It’s why he is what he is today.