The head of the Church of England, the archbishop of Canterbury, said in an interview on Sunday that he doesn’t understand why President Trump enjoys such broad support among Christian fundamentalists.
“There’s two things going through my mind: do I say what I think, or do I say what I should say?” Justin Welby said in an interview with ITV. “And I’m going to say what I think.”
“I really genuinely do not understand where that is coming from,” he said of Trump’s support among Christian fundamentalists.
Welby also serves as head of the Anglican Communion, which encompasses churches in the United States.
However, Welby said he would be willing to meet with the president if Trump were to ever visit the U.K. on a state visit.
“I meet lots of other people as well,” the archbishop told ITV, adding that he has willingly met with worse people in the past.
“I spent years and years involved in conflict stuff around the world where I met people who had killed many, many people,” he said.
“You know, part of the job is to meet people you disagree with, and to testify with the love of Christ to them and to seek to draw them into a different way.”
Fundamentalist Christians came out in large numbers to support Trump in the 2016 election, and their influence can be felt within the White House.
Trump established an Evangelical Executive Advisory Board during the campaign as a way to connect with the conservative Christian voting block.
The board has been kept intact by the White House and features conservative Christians such as Liberty University President Jerry Falwell Jr.
Rev. A.R. Bernard, who leads the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn, announced in August he would be resigning from board, citing “a deepening conflict in values between myself and the administration.”
BY JULIA MANCHESTER – 11/26/17 06:25 PM EST