WINDSOR TERRACE — The majority of Americans don’t view President Donald Trump as being a religious man, according to a Pew Research poll, but while the president isn’t often photographed attending church services, he has frequently evoked religion in his speeches and his actions.
Trump is outspoken in his pro-life views on abortion, and in 2020 became the first sitting president to address the March for Life in Washington D.C. in person, rather than appearing via video or a recorded message.
Trump, who was raised in Queens, is a Presbyterian and was confirmed at the First Presbyterian Church in Jamaica in 1959. His parents, Fred and Mary Anne, joined the Marble Collegiate Church in Manhattan in the 1970s. Pastor Norman Vincent Peale ministered to the Trump family for several years until his death in 1993.
The president enjoys strong support within the evangelical community and mentioned religion at several points in his 2020 State of the Union Address.
At one point during the speech, Trump pointed to Robin Schneider, who was seated in the audience with her young daughter Ellie. Ellie was born premature — at just 21 weeks — in 2017 but was saved by doctors and through the prayers of her parents, Trump said. “Ellie reminds us that every child is a miracle of life,” the president said. He added that he would ask Congress to pass a bill to ban “late-term abortion of babies.”
Yet, when Americans were asked in a Pew poll if Trump is religious, the majority thought he didn’t have strong beliefs.
According to the poll, 40 percent of respondents said the president is not at all religious and 23 percent replied that he was not too religious. Taken together, that’s 63 percent of Americans who think Trump is not very religious.
Only seven percent told pollsters that the president was very religious. Twenty-eight percent said he was somewhat religious.
When asked what Trump’s religion is, 32 percent identified him as a Protestant; 34 percent said they had no idea what religion he practices; and 16 percent said he had no religion at all.
Vice President Pence
Vice President Mike Pence, a former congressman and the former governor of Indiana, was raised Catholic and was an altar server at Sunday Masses in his youth. In later years, Pence attended services at Grace Evangelical Church in Indianapolis.
As a congressman, Pence gained a reputation as a staunch pro-life supporter. He adamantly opposed the expansion of abortion rights and fought against federal funding of embryonic stem cell research. He also pushed for a constitutional amendment against same-sex marriage.
During his time as governor, he signed a religious freedom bill into law that allowed businesses and individuals to cite their religious beliefs and refuse to do business with people whose views they find objectionable.
In January of this year, Pence met with Pope Francis at the Vatican.
Pence has often described himself as a born-again, evangelical Catholic.
In another revealing comment, he once told reporters that he was “a Christian, a Conservative, and a Republican — in that order.”