Rick Warren's Surprisingly Low-Profile Role in Proposition 8

It turns out that the popular preacher has his critics inside the evangelical community, too.

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There's a must-read AP story up about Rick Warren's critics inside the evangelical movement. Many claim he's not politically conservative enough. For all the hew and cry in the gay community over Warren's advocacy for Proposition 8 (California's recently passed gay marriage ban), it turns out that he took a very low-profile role in that campaign. He's been much more vocal on issues like combating AIDS and poverty in Africa:

The pastor chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to give the inaugural invocation backed Proposition 8, which banned gay marriage in his home state of California . But he did so belatedly, with none of the enthusiasm he brings to fighting AIDS and illiteracy.

When other conservative Christians held stadium rallies and raised tens of millions of dollars for the ballot effort, there was no sign of Warren . Neither he nor his wife, Kay, donated any of their considerable fortune to the campaign, according to public records and the Warrens ' spokesman.

In fact, his endorsement seemed calculated for minimal impact. It was announced late on a Friday, just 10 days before Election Day, on a Web site geared for members of his Saddleback Community Church , not the general public.