WASHINGTON -- Evangelical pastor Rick Warren's "urgent" plea for donations to sustain his megachurch has been met with amusement and mockery from gay rights advocates.
Warren posted a letter online Wednesday saying his Saddleback Church is "$900,000 in the red for the year" and pleaded with congregants to help fill the gap "in the next 48 hours," the Associated Press reported.
Warren said the recession hurt funding all year, but tallied up his eleventh hour effort to the Church's lower-than-expected donations on Christmas. "This last weekend the bottom dropped out," he said in the letter.
The gay community, which has long been at odds with Warren's opposition to same-sex marriage, doesn't appear sad about the news.
A headline at the popular gay website Queerty read, "Rick Warren's Budget for Hypocrisy Is $900,000 Short This Year."
The article dubbed Warren an "anti-gay pastor" whose church has "gone broke and begging for cash." It said that Warren "won't share explicit financial details of the church, so it's hard to tell whether $900k is a pittance to Saddleback, or represents a gaping hole in their books."
While not dismissing the notion that the Church might genuinely be in need of funds, Queerty speculated that maybe "Warren is just being greedy, and begging supporters to give him their last few pennies before the clock strikes midnight."
AMERICAblog Gay told its readers, "Rick Warren needs money. Sends "URGENT LETTER" to his flock."
"Hmmm," Joe Sudbay wrote in response to Warren's letter. "If I was in Rick Warren's flock, I'd ask for an audit."
"Given Warren's URGENT appeal for money, it sure sounds like he hasn't been listening to God when it comes to financial stewardship," Sudbay jested.
The GLBT news magazine On Top headlined its story, "Anti-Gay Pastor Rick Warren Begs For $900,000."
Tensions between gay rights advocates and Warren rose after the influential pastor's strong defense of California's Proposition 8, which outlawed same-sex marriage. Warren called his opposition to gay marriage "a humanitarian and human issue," CBN News reported.