How Trump Got Religion [Excerpts]
Donald J. Trump likes to cite an exalted force when he’s asked about his religious convictions.
God? Jesus? Himself?
Try Norman Vincent Peale, the Christian minister whose book The Power of Positive Thinkng “was a pillar of American self-help culture" during the 1950s and beyond.
Or “the great Norman Vincent Peale,” as the Republican front-runner refers to the preacher, who ministered to Trump and his parents before [Peale's] 1993 death.
The feeling toward Trump is not exactly mutual among Peale’s offspring.
John Peale, 79, the minister’s son, said he winces when Trump invokes his father’s name, as the candidate has several times since launching his presidential campaign.
The Trump and Peale clans have history. Norman Vincent Peale presided at Donald Trump’s wedding to Ivana Trump. He also officiated at the wedding of Trump’s sister Maryanne. The mogul co-hosted the minister’s 90th-birthday bash.
It was not until the past year, after Trump launched his White House bid, that John Peale, a retired philosophy professor in Charlottesville, Va., started forming less-than-positive opinions about the developer.
In particular, Peale said, he fears that Trump's associating himself with Norman Vincent Peale suggests to the public that the minister emphasized “material success, and that was not the main characteristic of his ministry, big time.”
“I don’t think the image of Norman Vincent Peale that comes through Donald Trump is any connection to the idea I have of him,” said Peale, an ordained minister who described himself as a Democrat. “He doesn’t recognize the significant character of Dad’s ministry, which is a sincere desire to help people.”
(Paul Schwartzman, "How Trump got religion — and why his legendary minister’s son now rejects him," Washington Post Online, January 21, 2016)
[TBC: Regardless of John Peale’s positive memories of his father, it was Norman Vincent Peale who wrote, “Put God to work for you and maximize your potential in our divinely ordered capitalist system.” Peale’s very clear message paralleled other mind science teachers and is a companion of word faith teaching. In 1985 Tom and Dave wrote, "Ernest Holmes founded the Church of Religious Science, also known as Science of the Mind, upon the 'Supreme Secret' that the 'Masters of Wisdom' revealed to Napoleon Hill. It is closely related to the Positive Thinking of Norman Vincent Peale and the Possibility Thinking of Robert Schuller....In 1958 Holmes prophesied, 'We have launched a Movement which, in the next 100 years, will be the great new religious impulsion of modern times ... [destined] to envelop the world....'" (Seduction of Christianity, p. 23).]