October 11th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
2 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. sonny c

    There is only ONE Creator. Whether He is called God, Allah or Yahweh. If there WERE more than one Creator, this universe could not work with its' clockwork perfection. Only shallow or ignorant people, usually centuries ago & not in this modern age of supreme technology,believe in MY God is greater than YOUR God.

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  2. Cason

    Nothing like another bigot, hypocritical Christian pastor bumping his gums and invoking God to help win. By his words, you know he's a racist to the hilt and like all racists he's a coward! Does he ward away witches too or what?

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  3. Rj5000

    ABSOLUTELY IGNORANT!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  4. Jon

    The Man upstairs doesn't like ugly. And McCain supporters are showing a lot of ugly.

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  5. doug

    I resent Mr Conrad's comment. I am a Christian and I support Sen. Obams. Does that make me "ANOTHER RELIGION"?. I see why Mr. Conrad is a "former pastor" with idiotic remarks like that. Does Mr. Conrad even know what a Christian is? Maybe he should read his Bible a little better.

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  6. 1love

    I'm confused pastor. My Bible speaks to God Knowing us even before we were born. Was God referring to only those who would come to believe in him (seems unlikely sense we had not selected a choice of religion yet). He could hardly be referring to Christians since this is old testament stuff (even with your rational he somehow left you out). No, this is not an argument about who's God is better – it is an argument about the worst type of Christian – BIGOTS WITH BIBLES!!

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  7. E

    Wow. No wonder the rest of the world thinks this country is full of ignorant bigots... we are.

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  8. Monica

    The republican party keeps putting nasty comments out there in ads and at public events and always quickly defend themselves with a response to those insults by distancing themselves from it- you can't take back what you said- once it's out there- it's out there- The Republican Party needs to watch their scripts and be more considerate and broad minded- maybe they're so traditonal and conservative they think of their race is superior- well they need to be informed that the world is changing and America is becoming more and more diversified- they need to see the change and accept it. And that's what Obama is about. Except he's not focused on the race issue in his campaign- he's focused on what's important- the political and economical issue. If McCain's campaign thinks that pointing out Obama's race and questioning his faith and cultural background will get him to win this election- then he's using down right filthy politics- and that's not what we want our next president of the United States of America to be like. McCain's campaign is a big bully that just keeps insulting his target no matter how negative, dirty, and nasty they get. They're being down right inconsiderate. And they need to watch what they say.

    October 11, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  9. Brian

    I am a christian myself and stuff like this makes me angry. Whatever happens, God will always be there and take care of this world one or or another. Don't pray for someone to NOT get elected, but rather pray that God works through whoever does become President for the greater purpose of God. What makes Obama so much worse than McCain? It's people like this that give Christians a bad rep.

    October 11, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  10. akin

    Pls let it be known that we christains are praying for Obama to be
    president of this great country. Christainity is a religion of love and not hatred as the so call man of god is potraying.
    Pls stop mosleading people and stop mixing racism with christainity.

    Love your neibor as yourself.
    macian will lose this election

    October 11, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  11. Vanetta King

    November 4th can't come soon enough...I am ready for this political season to end. The McCain/Palin campaign has become so very destructive and divisive. There is no honor or dignity in their rhetoric. In order to win this election the McCain campaign is willing to envoke all the ugliness of our past. Fear and hatred have been promoted among his supporters. I am amazed that he is shocked by Rep. Lewis' comments for they are very true. Senator McCain/Gov. Palin have you not heard the angry shouts at your rallies? It is as though you have been inciting a mob to riot. The suggestion that non-Christians want an Obama win only adds fuel to the fire! Will you de-americianize all Obama supporters? Govenor Palin please STOP. Instead of personal attacks, why not have a healthy debate about the issues.

    October 11, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  12. shirley

    How very sad that anyone would use prayer to encourage fear in people and to spread falsehood!

    October 11, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  13. Donald White

    The last I looked, Allah and God are one of the same

    October 11, 2008 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  14. Barbara

    This upsets me dearly. I am a christian and I'm surpporting Obama. I don't know who this minister is but I really think he needs to get down on his knees and pray for forgiveness. If read his bible clearly, I remember Jesus telling a holy man that he would not enter into the kingdon of god for his lack of knowing the real truth about him. So I think he needs to publicly appologize to Obama and fellow christians for his lack of Jesus in his heart.

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  15. Shed

    So Jesus only wants people in office that are spreading lies and trying to promote a message of hate!?

    Oh yeah, that's what he wants...
    Wake up evangelists!

    Pfft.

    Obama/Biden '08!

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  16. chucky1169469

    it's in their minds already that he is a not like them and nothing John McCain can say to change it, these people were racist before the presidential race and they will be long after it.

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  17. evangelical

    And im sure Jesus would be proud of how angry and hateful his followers have become.

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  18. nancy

    McCain is totally out of line, and so is Gov. Palin. This hatred will come back to haunt you, at best.
    Shame on you, John McCain. This is putting 'country first' or your own blind ambition?

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  19. Sarah

    I'll pray to God to salvage what good remains in this country...hopefully it's not too late.

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  20. Liz

    Hey McCain, could your supporters be a little more disgusting?

    Could you please STOP trying to start a holy war??!?!?!

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  21. Nylter

    Gotta love the tolerance pouring out of this so-called man of God's mouth. Oh, wait. FORMER man of God's mouth. Maybe there's a reason it's former.

    So many sarcastic things to say, so few polite ways to word them.

    October 11, 2008 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  22. bonita

    this so sad to say that non christians are praying for him to win well im a christian and im insulted by this what is wrong here why is Senator McCain going along with this

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  23. Lee Ann

    That is the STUPIDEST thing I ever heard. I have lots of devout serious Christian friends just like me and they are FOR Obama.
    Obama is who we need to turn this country around. McCain supporters are saying the most bizarre things to try to scare people away from Obama and it is not working.
    The truth is Obama is a Christian and an African American. There is no Arab in him.
    OBAMA-BIDEN 08

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  24. mack

    Barack Hussein Obama is like the father who named his son....hello my name is Sue!

    Church and state separate please. I am sure all faiths are praying for Obama to win and especially the Christians and even many republicans.

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. Jim Barnaby

    The simple minded stupidity of the Republican Party is painful to see. It makes me think of a wonderful scene in the 1948 movie by John Huston, "The Treasure of The Sierre Madre" when Dobsie and Curtin were wasting precious water in the desert over Fool's Gold and Howard had to let them know that "you're so dumb, I got nothin' to compare you with". This is how I see McCain and Palin...painfully out of touch with America in a time of great need for leadership, values and honesty.

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
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