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. Zago

    What a difference between a brain washer and a brain washed man?

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  2. Former Davenport resident

    And now you know why I moved to Chicago...small towns, small minds

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  3. Dave

    I'm Christian and I'm praying that Obama wins. So I don't understand what the problem is.

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  4. beth

    Excuse me, but I am a Christian and voting for Obama....and you know what, I think it's great that non-Christians would want Obama as their president as well. He's the real deal. I think he genuinely wants what's best for this country and believes that he can make a difference...why else would he want the job? I think that it's time Americans come together. Why can't we get along? I think maybe some Christians need to reread the good samaritan story.

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  5. TESSA

    Christians around the world should be praying that God's will, not any man's will be done. We are not in control and this is not about us. He alone is big enough to handle what happens on Wall Street, Main Street, My Street and certainly the outcome of this election. God can handle his reputation, but what about those that profess him as Savior and Lord. What will your reputations look like after this election and who will you be able to influence for the cause of Christ?

    October 11, 2008 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  6. Amy

    Its time for good Christians to take our religion back from the far right. I'm sick of conservative evangelicals misrepresenting Christian beliefs.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  7. Nathan

    This is an outrage, a cynical and evil abuse of religion, making belief a matter of fear and prejudice. I write as a Christian and a citizen. We must all speak out against this kind of thing. First, Obama is a Christian. Second, this kind of religious bigotry has no place in the political life of a democratic nation. It is utterly anti-American in its ugly prejudice. Third, this is wrong in so many ways–far beyond the tepid comments of Senator McCain. The comments of "kill Obama" that have been made at campaign events, and now this ugly deepening of religious hatreds–McCain is, always has been, better than this. He needs to give a major speech that puts an end to this and lets us know–unmistakably–where he stands. It would be good for his campaign, and it would be putting his country first.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  8. jim

    hahaha i love how mccain's rallies have turned into hateful demonstrations...and how mccain refutes the claims, but runs ads that jusr reaffirm the points made by these crazy conservatives.....cannot wait until this is over and That One is in the office

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  9. Vivian

    I'm a born again Christian. I'm not so sure God is the cosmic bell-hop of either party.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  10. Sara

    This is getting out of control...As a Hillary supporter I was so upset I was going to vote for McCain, Im ashamed I even entertained that thought!!
    Obama/Biden 08

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  11. stan

    Perhaps you shoud shed your religious garbs, and get out of the US

    Your views are exactly what the US does NOT NEED.

    Are you a racist? Perhaps you don't have any use for Jews either?

    Well, I have no use for you. Why not pack your bags and go down to one of the Caribbean Islands where black, brown and white folks live together in harmony. Well, on reconsideration, I guess you wouldn't fit in there anyway with your attitude.

    Of course living in Iowa, you have something to do every year. Watch the corn grow.

    Do you have black corn???

    BTW, I'm a WHITE man who doesn't believe in what you obviously do.

    The article sickend me.

    I thought religious people were tolerant? I guess not.

    Perhaps you should pray for another year or two, to get your mind up to snuff, and accept other people/faiths besides yours.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  12. Kasha

    The Straight Talk Express has completely derailed. McCain needs to take a long vacation and figure out where his priorities are. He is a man who has lost his way in this world and his campaign is showing the strain. He promised the country a decent and respectable campaign without all the negative crap and yet that is all his campaign delivers these days. He could put a stop to all of this if he chose, but his political aspirations have trumped his sense of decency and respect and instead he chooses to allow the flames of hatred to be fueled by this nonsense. He is nothing more than a shallow shell of the man he once was.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  13. Kathy

    These people are ridiculous hypocrites. It is unfortunate that there is no "New World" to ship them off too. I know several good christians who are voting for Obama despite what his religious background is. We're not voting for a pope, we're voting for a president.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  14. GOP, you picked the wrong guy

    Wow, I think God has more important things to work on! I am a life-long Christian who deeply believes in Jesus Christ.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  15. Dee, B.C. Canada

    One thing that is right, many countries in the rest of the world want an Obama win. Not because of race, religion or age but because Obama is the only smart and logical choice. Canada wants an Obama win and would vote for Obama. A recent world poll showed that all the other countries in the G7 and some other countries want Obama as the next US President. The world is watching the US and waiting to see if the American people are smart enough this time around to elect a real President and not another moron.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  16. mom2homer

    As a non-Christian, U.S. citizen, I didn't read Conrad's comments as insinuating that Obama is non-Christian. Instead, I read them as insinuating Conrad considers me and other non-Christian U.S. citizens threats to our own country and to our Christian neighbors. Whatever happened to separation of church and state?

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  17. mb

    How much more insulting can this campaign get? Non-Christians want Obama to win?! Only a true Christian would vote for McCain! All my respect for McCain/Palin are gone,

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  18. Jerry

    I believe our God is an awesom God who created us to uplift and enrich everyone's life-to try and bring light where there is darkness. How sad that former Pastor Conrad just doesn't get it.

    October 11, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  19. C Spurgeon

    McCain and his people are hateful, ignorant and dangerous for the future of this country. That old fool needs to put a stop to this trash now.Wish the election was this week and it would be over.

    October 11, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  20. Brian

    Ignorance does seem to be bliss.

    The Muslims prey to the same god as we do. They just have a different prophet as their spokesman.

    All religions preach the same tollerance that seems to be lacking in the Evangelical Free Church. I suspect that it is because that particular church is free of the constraints of tolerance.

    To me... that would seem to just be ignorance.

    October 11, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  21. Will

    When are these pastors going to learn? His call for a prayer to defeat Obama is totally out of line. I have to question his true calling from God. They are becoming what they say they detest, Theocracy. Theocracy as in Iran and Saudia Arabia. Didn't they learn anything from the prayer for rain in Denver during Obama's acceptance speech? Instead Hurricane Gustav postponed part of the Republican Convention. Perhaps God may turn this request around as well just to prove His point.

    October 11, 2008 10:51 pm at 10:51 pm |
  22. Dave

    I am watching cnn campbell brown doing a story on race in the presidential race. Not one time do they mention that 95% of blacks are voting for Obama.All she is talking about is how whites are racist.Iam so sick and tired of this bias.and this Rowland Martin what a joke.Now if you question Obama about anything blacks and the media call people a racist its outrageous. this congressman is now playing the race card saying Mccain and Palin are stoking racial hatered. It is people like him who are fueling racial discourse.Why doesnt any one report on gov. Palin being shouted down and booed in philly at the nhl.game that was not politcal at all. The liberals and dems spew hatred to the extreme that a conservative cant even speak at a no political public event.All you here on cnn is John McCain promoting racism you people are pathetic.

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  23. Danny Kandy

    This prejudist nonsense from Republican rallies is DISCUSTING.

    Obama is NOT A MUSLIM. He is a proud Christian. But, had he been a muslim he would also be proud, prudent and positive.

    THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH BEING A MUSLIM. MUSLIMS A PROUD OF THEIR RELIGION.

    MUSLIMS DENOUNCE TERRORISM.

    ISLAM IS THE LATEST RELIGION IN THE JUDEO-CHRISTIAN TRADITION, AND MUHAMMED IS THE LAST MESSENGER OF GOD.

    YOU CANNOT LABEL AND INGNORE 1.5 BILLION PEOPLE.

    MUSLIMS ARE NOT ENEMIES OF THE U.S.

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  24. carol

    The audacity of these so called religious jerks who claim to be Christians.....love they neighbour etc etc.....what a load of crap when they can go out on a stage at mCCains rally and say non Christian
    religions want Barack Obama to win!!!!
    Just who the hell do they think they are......they need to stay in their place inside a pulpit and keep their mouths shut and it's about time the church stayed out of politics and mind their own business.
    The church has way too much influence in this country in politics and it's time for them to stick to talking to the flock and let politicians take care of politics!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  25. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    It appears to me that People of this country of all Faiths want Obama! He has my vote hands down! Here in Texas all I talk to want Obama for President! I must not run in the same circles as McCain and Palin!

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
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