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. JohnLee

    I wish these so called Christians would actually go home and read their bibles because if they did, they would learn so much.

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  2. Alex

    Wow. These Christian Republicans act like this campaign is a holy war in which the gods themselves are battling for the fate of mankind.

    One wonders if the religious fanatics in the United States are more dangerous to our nation than the Islamic ones in the Middle East.

    I think McCain and Palin need to realize this recent spate of unbridled rage and fervor from their supporters could alienate independent voters.

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  3. doug in New Mexico

    The McCain camp just keeps going lower and lower and lower. Has he lost all of his integrity? Just months ago I had respect for Senator McCain but that is now gone. Inciting the crowd to kill Obama and using religion to this extreme is too much.

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  4. MH in TX

    Some McCain supporters are starting to creep me out!

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  5. Brad

    Are you kidding me? I was born and raised methodist and now because I'm supporting someone who doesn't follow the GOP rules, I'm a terrorist? The GOP is out of their mind and need to be stopped. I've never considered myself a democrat or republican but I am so appalled by the GOP and their lies, I will now vote democrat for the rest of my life.

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  6. So Sad!!

    These are the people that say that they love there country, but the are promoting hatred.Is this what people really want for 4 more years.

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  7. Joe the Troll

    Just when you get to thinking that things can't sink any lower.......

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  8. A Religious Nut

    This makes other Christians look nuts. I hope this particular pastor does not lead many lambs astray with racism.

    October 11, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  9. phil s.

    what a sad pathetic bunch of human beings.

    October 11, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. Char

    I am a Catholic, and I'm praying for him too !
    Makes me feel kinda of ashamed to be from Iowa

    October 11, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  11. Carl

    Ok. I have been on here all the time (with many comments not making it) talking about how ridiculous both sides are being.

    This one takes the cake.

    McCain said earlier this week that Obama is a good man and would make a good president and was BOOED and RIDICULED at that rally.

    America... wake up...

    October 11, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  12. Anonymous

    ABSOLUTELY IGNORANT!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  13. Jessica

    This may be the scariest thing I've seen so far in this election. I just hope that the majority of Americans will prove to the rest of the world that they aren't bigots...and how strange that the McCain campaign wouldn't know what this minister might say! I don't understand how the GOP candidate and the RNC are allowing this continued and forced seperation to go unchecked, and enough of the apologies and statements that are put out afterward. Instilling this kind of division in our country at a time when things are hanging so loosely around us is inflammatory and unpresidential at best, bordering on a desperate insanity.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  14. Honorable Kansas Vet

    I find it extremely difficult to say that a individual with true Christain values could ever vote for the McCain/Palin ticket. They represnt wealth and greed, abuse of power, remember the Keation five, and now Alsaka gate. Do as I say not as I do, and never ever offer forgivness. What is good for oil and big buisness is good for the country, forget the individual. Christain values, what a joke.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  15. Hannah Storm

    I am one CHRISTIAN praying that Obama wins.....whose prayer will win out. I hope to God it is mine

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  16. kravitz

    oowee ooo ah ah bing bang wasilla-silla bing bang,
    ooowee ooo ah ah bing bang wasilla-silla bing bang
    I asked the witch doctor who told me what to say
    I asked the witch doctor who told me what to do
    that sarah palin charged her state $13,000 last year to go to wasilla bible church, so alaska you got ... well, this is a family blog.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  17. facts are facts

    CNN is just posted a comment on how religious fanatics are hurting the U.S. and of course you won't print it because you do everything in your power to cover up the truth.

    At some point in time CNN and all the other so called Main Stream News Medias are going to have to report facts and keep the public informed. This way perhaps you can help solve some of the problems by keeping the public informed which would be a real change from your present platform of aiding the problems through failure to responsibly air the truth.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  18. Natalie

    Sorry but those white people in the Republican crowd are really showing their racism. It is really coming out the more McCain falls in the polls, peeling away like an onion. God bless and protect Obama.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  19. Idahobama

    As a Christian, I am offended that a Christian minister would lump "all" Christians together as people who do not want Obama as President.

    Religion is not a factor in the presidential race. Ethnicity is not a factor in the presidential race. Issues are the key factor in deciding who we want for president.

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  20. Mr.L.Abdullah

    THE TIME HAS COME FOR THE AMERICAN TO GET EDUCATED ABOUT THE WORDS THEY HEAR AND DON'T UNDERSTAND..
    IN THE ARABIC ..THE WORD.. ARAB MEAN'S....( LORD)
    MUSLIM MEANS.....(ONE WHO SUBMITS
    TO GOD)
    Who are the ones who killed Presidents,and other leaders in our society? Where they Muslims or Christians? If I was going to be afraid, I would be afraid of the Christians.There are bad people in all societies.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  21. Ernest Westbrook

    Senator McCain has reaped exactly what he has sown during the past week of speaking engagements. He and Governor Palin have applied to the very lowest levels of political trash-talking with regard to making very, very thinly veiled appeals to racism and religious bigotry. It all blew up directly in his face!

    Senator McCain knows that Senator Barack Obama is a Christian.
    Alluding to and allowing some of his supporters to fan the flag of religious bigotry is highly hypocritical and very, very dangerous,
    precisely because the allegation is untrue. When there were comments from the crowd such as" traitor"," hang him" and "kill him",
    Senator McCain should have stepped forward and denounced those sentiments. Even allowing for the possibility that he did not hear the comment(s) himself, when told about it them, Senator McCain should have taken steps to denounce those sentiments at his following rallies.

    It shouldn't take a "rocket scientist" to know that racism is going to be a factor in the decision-making of some voters. A small few might be willing to go beyond merely harboring negative thoughts.

    Given the very violent and nasty history of racism, religious bigotry and most recently, spates of anti-Muslim sentiments, Senator McCain and Governor Palin, should have anticipated the worst and had a plan ready to counter those sentiments as soon as they arose.

    I believe that Senator McCain promised the American people that he was going to run an honorable and decent presidential campaign, based on the facts. This past week has been a total betrayal of that promise. Being behind in the polls because of economic issues is no excuse for abandoning one's solemn commitment to fight the good fight and do so fairly.

    I am extremely disappointed in the resent conduct of Senator McCain
    and his total lack of anticipation with regard to where his character attacks could lead in the minds of some people who would be inclined to support and vote for him solely on the major issue of his opponent's race.

    While I did not expect either party to present a "choir boy" image or run a non-critical, totally polite race, I did hope that both men would keep their promises to take and stay on the "high road".

    Westbrook

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  22. Marie

    I don't care that anyone uses Barack's middle name – there is never any shame in the name your parents gave you.

    I do, however, think it is reprehensible that this minister is to be so blind as to ask God to do what the minister wants, rather than asking God to do what God wants... The [il] logic of some Christians never ceases to amaze me!

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  23. bernard

    IM SORRY I AM A CHRISTIAN BUT I FIND MISS PALINS RELIGIOUS RIGHT IS APALLING THEY HAVE SOME SPIRIT BUT IT DOSENT SEEM TO BE THE SPIRIT OF OUR BLESSED LORD . PRO LIFE LETS SEE REPUBLICANS THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS INNOCENT CIVILLIANS KILLED THATS NOT CHRIST THATS NOT POR LIFE MISS PALIN ITS PRO DEATH . THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS THE PRO DEATH PARTY WITH ITS CONSTANT DOCTRINE OF WAR DEVISION AND HATE . WHAT ABOUT OUR THOUSANDS OF GREAT YOUNG MEN DEAD IN IRAQ WHAT ABOUT THERE RIGHT TO LIVE . ALSO WOULD THE MEDIA STICK UP FOR OUR WILDE LIFE NAMEING POLA BEARS AND WOLVES WHOM MISS PALIN HAS PARTICIPATED IN KILLING THE VIDEO IS ON YOU TUBE , FOR GOT SAY SAY SOMETING ABOUT THIS THE POOR POLA BEARS CANT SPEAK UP FOR THEM SELVES CNN . IM A CHRISTIAN FOR OBAMA AND I BELEAVE I CHRIDTION TRULY LOVES CHRIST WOULD NEVER DO THIS TO GODS CREATION . SHAME ON YOU MISS PALIN I PRAY FOR YOU . OBAMA 08 ............... PLEASE FOR THE WHOLE WORLDS SAKE .

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  24. Steve

    OK, I literally must respond to this latest "invocation." As a committed Christian myself, I'm not so positive God is behind the McCain/Palin ticket. Unfortunately, I see this kind of narrow dogmatism and certitude over and over again from other Christians and I know it stems from an inability to understand that God is not a Republican. Let me say this again: God is not a Republican!! The Lord's purposes are higher than just "backing" a particular candidate for U.S. President. Check out Shane Claiborne's fine book, "Jesus for President." Although on the progressive side (which I like), he demonstrates that God will not be squeezed into any one partisan box.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  25. mb--texas

    Sounds like something from the past elections.People were told if you did not support Bush you were not a christian.No place for this in polotics.

    October 11, 2008 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
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