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. Marcel Okwara

    That minister is absolutely ignorant and shameless. He has betrayed his office as a Christian minister. It is not only non-Christians that are praying for Obama. As a matter of fact, more Christians around the world pray for him because he is someone that this country needs at this critical period. We have had a faith based presidency for the last eight years; what did we get from it? Lies, deciet, hypocrisy and poverty. John McCain cannot claim to be more Christian or more godly than Obama. It is a shame that someone will make such a baseless and dishonest claim in a political rally. And i have a question for the so called minister- who is your God? Is Jesus Christ your Savior and Lord? I don't think so! We are just tired of the Republican party. They have brought so much pain and anxiety to our people. We cannot afford another four more years of George Bush.
    I want to suggest that the so called Christian minister go back to school and study more about Religion. The God of Islam, Hindu, ATR is not different from the God of Christians. It is the same God but viewed and understood differently by different religions.

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

    this is NOT A PERSON OF THE CLOTH,this despicable person should be totally ashamed of himself !!!!!! barack obama is a good christian man and deserves to be respected.... people like this will stop at nothing to trash obamas name!!!!!!!! some people like this PIG are afraid of CHANGE, maybe he ought to try it before he opens his BIG FAT MOUTH !!!!!!!god does not condone people like him, GET A LIFE !!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  3. Tammy

    Someone needs to explain to all these conservatives that God IS NOT a Republican!!! Why would He choose to honor their narrow-mindedness as opposed to the hope that there is more at stake in the United States than just Roe vs. Wade? I have seen many evangelical Christians who honestly believe that their views are the only ones which count; if you ask me, it is definitely time they were humbled since they refuse to humble their own hearts and learn to consider others as equal to, if not more important (Philippians 2:3) than themselves.

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  4. Laurie, Phoenix

    So, let me get this straight...God loves Christian McCain more than Christian Obama right. This pastor should be asking God to help those losing their homes and needing food. God is not as petty as Republicans.

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  5. Republican

    What a bigot !!! I hope his god forgives his ignorance ...

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  6. Yolanda

    Do these people who believe Obama is a muslim not watch or listen to the news??? Not that it is supposed to matter with politics but Obama is a Christian man...

    I am a Christian and I am praying for an Obama victory!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  7. Obamarosa

    If obamarosa gets elected, you better believe this country will be ripped apart. I am ready for a new nation to emerge from this farce of an election, stolen by the DNC voter fraud, and leave the baby killing liberals to wallow in their pit of self loathing.

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  8. Mr.L.Abdullah

    MS Palin doesn't know the history of this country or the nature of some the radical people in this society. When you make the remarks she made. these people react.So the stop this we have to be careful of what we say

    October 11, 2008 10:52 pm at 10:52 pm |
  9. Mark Billingsley

    The evangelical right-wing nut cases are being exposed for the whack jobs they are. Keep it up Conrad, you jerk, because the avalanche is coming Nov.4 and will bury you and your ilk. Your stupid comments are just going to make it worse for you and the rest of the mouth breathers who follow you – all 17 of them. When your side is completely devoid of ideas and a record of accomplishment, this is what you see – the personal attacks and a pathetic "man of God" acting like an idiot. You want to know what those "variety of reasons" are Conrad, you jerk? Let me list them for you:
    1. The Iraq War
    2. Our arrogance abroad
    3. Our economic malfeasance
    4. Our lack of global leadership
    5. The liars in the White House
    6... and stupid leaders such as yourself.
    Nov. 4 can't come soon enough

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  10. Mark

    These religeous nut jobs have had it easy long enough. There is a seperation of church and state in this country. They either need to get it or shut up. They are not going to force their beliefs on those of us who do believe in freedom of religion and will defend it if necessary. That includes from radical Islam....or Christianity.

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  11. VETS4Obama

    More of the same right wing nut job smears...you ought to be VERY ashamed McBush!!! Do all of us a favor and kick that smart mouthed power abuser of yours off the ticket too!

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  12. timz

    Just when you think the McCain campaign can stoop no lower. This dishonors America.

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  13. Dr. MAD

    Are these the same people who prayed for rain during the Democratic convention?

    Remember what a perfect sunny day it was? Remember that the Republican convention was delayed by Hurricane Gustav?

    You think maybe God has been hearing the other prayers, too?

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  14. Lourdes

    This Christian (and many others that I know) want Obama to win. How dare this man inject religion into politics in such a self-righteous and narrow-minded way? Jesus is *way* above this mess and I'd bet that he wouldn't want what he stands for being used in this way.

    Obama 08 and 12.

    PLEASE POST ME CNN

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  15. Mel from Texas

    As a Christian I feel this istotally wrong. What gives any pastor the right to do this, especially since there is no basis for this. NcCaun's failure to publicly didtance himself from this type of action has cost him my vote.

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  16. Wow

    all i can say is wow... people are using every tactic other than what's important to the american people.. like how are we gonna feed our children, and how are we gonna put gas in our car to get to our job that we just might not even have next week.... should i go on and on with the list?
    Obama is a christian man but they are endeavoring to paint him as anything other than a worshipper of Christ...

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  17. Jake_Utah

    I don't think that McCain personally would have approved of that message. But the unfortunate truth is that the tone at his and particularly Palin's rallies have incited this type of reaction from their followers. Their messages in the past few days basically legitimized the general response from people because if their candidate is doing it then surely it must be ok for them to follow suit.

    My 2 cents to McCain-Palin – Keep religion and character attacks out of politics and the White House.

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  18. me

    Excellent news for John McCain!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  19. R Wolf

    What a sick man and what a sick campaign. I am a Christian, I am an American and I am so proud to support the Obama/Biden ticket. I don't know why McCain finds the comments by Lewis so shocking. I find them rather truthful. McCain is running the most frightening campaign I think our generation has ever seen. And as frightening as he is, Palin is even more frightening. We're in the 21 Centura, but racism, hatred, fear and ignorance are still just as prevalent. If this is toned down rhetoric then I'd hate to see what full force would be.

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  20. Mr.L.Abdullah

    MS Palin doesn't know the history of this country or the nature of some the radical people in this society. When you make the remarks she made. these people react.So to stop this we have to be careful of what we say

    October 11, 2008 10:53 pm at 10:53 pm |
  21. X-Republican

    That minister is clearly an idiot. In the words of Ronald Regan, are you better off now than four years ago?

    October 11, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  22. Malbert

    I am a devout Christian. My priorities in life are – God, Family and Country – in that order.

    People should pray that God's glory is revealed through whoever the next U.S President is. It's fine to believe that one person would be a better fit than another – but God's glory will be glorified regardless of who our next President is.

    Doesn't matter if it's McCain or Obama – God is bigger than both.

    God doesn't need advice from us...

    October 11, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  23. bernard

    THUS SAITH THE LORD MISS PALIN I WILL DESTROY THOSE WHM DISTROY THE EARTH . MISS PALIN PARTICIPATES IN THE KILLING OF WOLVES THE VIDE IS ON THE NET ON YOUTUBE YOU CAN SEE HER PALINLY BRAGGING ABOUT IT . SHE WANTS THE ENVIREMENT IN ALASKA DESTROYED SO MAN CAN HAVE A LITTLE OIL . SHE HAS KILLED POLA BEARS FOR GOD SAKE . MISS PALIN READ YOUR BIBLE SEE WHAT GOD DOES TO THOSE THAT DESTROY THE EARTH AND DONT SAY MAN CANT HARM THE ENVIROMENT GOD SAID HE CAN . CHRISTIANS FOR OBAMA . AND MISS PALIN WHATS PRO LIFE ABOUT KILLING POLA BEARS , AND THOUSANDS HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS SLUAGHTERD IN YOUR REPUBLICAN PARTY WARS THATS NOT PROP LIFE ITS PRO DEATH . THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IS THE PARTY OF PRO DEATH THEMS THE FACTS . .......................... CHRISTIANS FOR OBAMA .

    October 11, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  24. laura

    Way to stoke the fire of fear and hate. How very Christian.

    October 11, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
  25. James

    As a Christian, I'm praying to OUR God also. I pray that Obama get a change to lead the UNITED States. Quit trying to make this the DIVIDED States. Shameful.

    October 11, 2008 10:54 pm at 10:54 pm |
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