Months after his invocation at President Obama's inauguration enraged same-sex-marriage advocates, Rick Warren found himself facing criticism from same-sex-marriage opponents. The California megachurch pastor incited some conservatives' fury in April after he seemed to distance himself from California's ban on the marriages.
Warren told Larry King on CNN, "During the whole Proposition 8 thing, I never once went to a meeting, never once issued a statement, never—never once even gave an endorsement in the two years Proposition 8 was going."
But just before the November election, he appeared in a video newsletter to his church stating, "If you believe what the Bible says about marriage, you need to support Proposition 8."
Warren attempted to clarify his remarks to Christianity Today by distinguishing between endorsing the Proposition 8 campaign and speaking to his Saddleback congregation.
"It was a pastor talking to his own people. I've never said anything about it since," he told ct. "I don't know how you take one video newsletter to your own church and turn that into, all of a sudden, I'm the poster boy for anti-gay marriage."
Many conservative evangelicals lashed out over Warren's remarks, believing he was backpedalling from his earlier stance.
"What I read disturbed me," said Frank Page, former president of the Southern Baptist Convention. "It has caused him a great deal of loss of respect from conservative evangelical leaders."
After his ct interview, Warren's spokesperson issued a statement that the pastor "has remained committed to the biblical definition of marriage as between one man and one woman."
"Count me as an admirer of Rick Warren; I believe he is seeking primarily to preserve his ministry's power to do good ...