October 11th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
3 years ago

Speaker at McCain rally says non-Christians want an Obama win

A pastor at a McCain rally said non-Christians are hoping for an Obama win.
A pastor at a McCain rally said non-Christians are hoping for an Obama win.

DAVENPORT, Iowa (CNN) – A minister delivering the invocation at John McCain’s rally in Davenport, Iowa Saturday told the crowd non-Christian religions around the world were praying for Barack Obama to win the U.S. presidential election.

“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah—that his opponent wins, for a variety of reasons. And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation, because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you, if that happens,” said Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport.

The remark was made before McCain arrived at the rally but the Republican nominee's campaign quickly put out a statement distancing itself from the remarks.

“While we understand the important role that faith plays in informing the votes of Iowans, questions about the religious background of the candidates only serve to distract from the real questions in this race about Barack Obama's judgment, policies and readiness to lead as commander in chief,” said McCain campaign spokesperson Wendy Riemann.

This incident comes a day after a Minnesota voter asked Senator McCain if Barack Obama was an Arab at a town hall in Lakeville, Minnesota and just three days after Lehigh GOP County Chairman Bill Platt made a speech at a McCain rally in Pennsylvania where he refered to the Democrat nominee for president as Barack Hussein Obama.


Filed under: Iowa • John McCain
soundoff (1,974 Responses)
  1. Jack - Seattle

    Gee...I wonder which of the gods is bigger?

    October 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  2. Kevin

    This is unbelievable and dangerous. I "love" people imputing that they know what God is interested in. Here, there is a presumption that God is interested in protecting his "reputation" from a Barack Obama victory. Besides being a laughable non-sequitor, God is unknowable – especially when it's considered that God's preferred mechanism for life and the development of life requires the annihilation of most life. The picture of God painted by conservative Christians just doesn't match up with the brutal reality of existence. To rely on that picture of God as basis for a political decision is seriously suspect.

    October 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  3. Daisy

    LOL! I thought Obama was "The One", so why pray to anyone else? I'm a non-Christian, non-White, in 20s (and poor due to grad school) - but voting for McCain. So please let's drop all this nonsense about only Christians voting for McCain. With McCain, we will likely have socialism...but with Obama we will certainly have socialism. I'll take my chances on McCain. I'm uncomfortable and afraid of the change Obama talks about. (We're screwed '08.)

    October 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  4. Priscilla

    There are many evangelicals who are praying for an Obama win. He has the heart of Jesus because he cares for the people. He is not in this for material gain, but he truly has a heart for the people. Obama will win the whitehouse because it is right for him to do so. No weapon formed against Barack Obama shall prosper! Hang in there Obama, you have a lot of people praying for you.

    Obama/Biden '08/12

    October 11, 2008 09:58 pm at 9:58 pm |
  5. um

    Hindu is not a god, it's a religion. And Buddha is not a God either. He is a teacher. dork.

    October 11, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  6. sam

    Putting out a statement after the words are said does no good. If he wanted to, McCain could stop all of this hatred. He obviously doesn't want to. Do we want that kind of president? I don't.

    October 11, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  7. Steve

    Frankly, I'm appalled at the good majority of these statements being thrown back and forth between both campaigns. All that these campaigns seem to be attempting is to destroy the character of the opposing candidate, to glorify the candidate that they support. By now, I'm sure many can agree that this has gone too far.

    If Non-Christians want to vote for Senator Obama, then that is their given right as Americans. But bashing a different religion just because it isn't Christian...wouldn't that also repel any other Non-Christian voters that perhaps considered voting for Senator McCain?

    Fear in politics may have worked in the past, but this time it has gone beyond too far. I just wish supporters of a campaign could go about it in a more mature manner.

    October 11, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  8. MDK -Texas

    The "Christian Right" is neither Christian nor right. The Jesus I see from reading the Bible is clearly different what what these right-wing "Christians" are spouting. Jesus said "love your neighbor" and "love your enemy", All I hear from the "Christian Right" is hate and lies.
    May God bless this country, all of us!

    October 11, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  9. Jack

    It's the 21st century people ... the human race truly does not deserve this world when it clings to religious zealousness and prejudice ideals instead of using there brains. Even with the economy and our reputation toppling down around us, some primates continue to preach "god this ... god that." The bible is not going to fix anything ... clearing out the buffoons (Republicans an Democrats alike) in Washington will.

    October 11, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  10. Florida Christian

    As a Christian, I am praying for an Obama presidency for our country.

    I cannot support McCain's lying, marital indescretions, and sacrilegious advertising.

    Obama/Biden '08
    God bless America

    October 11, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  11. JforObama

    Out of control I say. Out of control. Not all Christians are supporting McCain. I am a Christian supporting BO and JB.

    Obama 08'

    October 11, 2008 09:59 pm at 9:59 pm |
  12. Mary

    as a christian who is voting for obama, i am beyond offended.

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  13. Leah,Texas

    The way that McCain and Palin have been acting I am starting to believe that it is McCain and Palin who are the ones that are not Christians.

    O and Joe '08

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  14. SoCal

    Not surprising that in NY they wrote OSAMA on the ballot, instead than Obama.

    Simply shameful.

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  15. Hush...

    I want to press charges!

    McCain and HIS crew are engaging in the equivalent of yelling 'FIRE!' in a dark, crowded theatre!

    SHAME shame McCain... Shame! SHAME!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  16. A Foreigner - VOTING - for Obama

    WOW... this pastor should be slapped. I am sure God does not work like that!! He loves alll people the same!!!

    what a dummy! uhmmp! I cant wait for this election to be OVER!

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  17. joeparadis

    This preacher is warning god to look out for his reputation? How crazy is that and just how depraved has the Right Wing become.

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  18. Will, in Richmond, VA

    this is MADNESS!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  19. gigs

    it seems to be the mccain camp just implicitly stated that there is a question about sen. obam's faith and agreed with the statements of this phony pastor – has mccain really stooped this low? i'm outraged at the mccain statement

    October 11, 2008 10:00 pm at 10:00 pm |
  20. Bill, N.M.

    outragous, the republican party is a joke now pandering to cooks

    October 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  21. Roberto

    The GOP is pulling out all the gutter tactics they've ever known and used and some they've never used. THey know they have nothing of substance in the armory so now it's heap huge quantities of mud everywhere. They incite people to commit crimes in the name of hte GOP. GOP devotees are literally gunning for Obama after the tramp palin started her "palling around with terrorists" BS. These GOP clowns eat that stuff up and ask for more. I would not be surprised if some wacko righty strapped a bomb to their chest and attended an Obama rally. They're as sick as the terrorists we're fighting.

    October 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  22. Ann

    It is ignorant people like this pastor who do the biggest disservice to our nation. I am an evangelical Christian and I will vote for Obama, not merely because he is a Christian, but he is intelligent, decisive, and is our best option for President of the USA.

    October 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  23. linda., bella vista, ar

    Ya', and so do a lot of Christians.

    October 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  24. smarts4obama (MI)

    I think this election shows the narrow minded behavior of some of the right wing extremists. I'm originally from India and we (Indians) have seen more terrorism from the Islamic radicals than what US has seen till now. But most Indians try not to group all Muslims into the terrorist category. Recently Indians were honored and privileged to have a well educated and one of the most decent human beings as a president and who happens to be a Muslim. I hope that I will lucky enough to meet him personally one day. He was solely responsible for making India a nuclear power to counteract the threat from an Islamic Pakistan.
    The pastor Arnold Conrad should be condemned saying that Jesus will be any smaller compared to the gods from the other religion if Obama wins. What about other Christians who are praying that Obama wins. I can't speak for other religions, but as a Hindu I have never been told that gods compete against one other to establish supremacy.
    Wake up and respect all religions. Stop this nonsense that one god is better than the others.

    October 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  25. Fawn

    Er... Buddha isn't a "God"

    And Allah is the same god worshipped by both Jews and Christians. Same God, different language.

    October 11, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
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