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. Dana

    I live in Davenport, Iowa and I am personally insulted that this one person made such a powerful and politically incorrect statement in public. I hope I never see him walking down that street. Using religion to win a vote.... get a life....

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  2. voting 4 that one!

    Please explain how this is any different from Rev. Wright. It is a shame how conservatives use the bible to promote division. Last I checked Jesus was about loving all people.

    October 11, 2008 11:36 pm at 11:36 pm |
  3. Jane

    This is ridiculous. McCain campaign is feeding off everything that CNN reports. Think about it. There were no racial slurs in the campaingn until after the debate when Gergen said this race may not be over because of Barack skin color. The very next day you heard people shouting very disrepectful slurs and comments from the audience, which I am will to bet that McCain staged it so people would shout out these slurs of hatred which sounds like the same person shouting it out. Is this guy traveling with their campaign and he is also staging people to say these disrespectful things. Now he is trying to say don't say these things because CNN has called him out and telling him to take leadership to stop it. We don't need a president who can't think for himself and need others to think for him. I had respect for McCain, now I have no respect because he is running a very dishonest campaign and you can not win honestly you should not want it because it was not meant to be. Our country is in a lot of trouble and I don't see how McCain can lead us out of it. He has shown very poor leadership and alot of deception, which is hard to overlook.

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  4. Prakash

    yes we hindus pray for his victory for we believe god and peace should prevail on earth unlike the hate raised by right wing rethuglicans and their KKK thinking. And no, Im not an American citizen just a well wisher for the USA

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  5. blake

    Praying for Obama to lose? Who is the god that these people pray to? Thank god- i woke up and left the hypocritical christian church. I feel sorry for these people. They probably prayed for Bush to win too.

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  6. No More Racism

    Great...when we are trying to get rid of racism, we see ignorant people like the person from minnesota actually say that obama is an arab. Now, the preacher is saying only christians should believe in God? Frankly, I think all the religions are directed to one God. That's upto you to decide. Should we talk about this like we did with the Wright controversy? I really hope we can get past these meaningless hate and actually become ONE NATION.

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  7. Loray White

    what a shame, what a shame , what a shame. Blasphemous!

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  8. ks

    this type of dogma makes me sad.

    we all love our children, and live the best way we can.

    why must some try and hoard the truth, and deny others their own?...it only causes sadness and heartache, on both sides.

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  9. cheryl garrett

    Who is this minister to say that the only people voting for Obama are no-christians? I"m a christian. My friends are christains. I don't think this is what God has in mind.

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  10. Lady_Di

    Isn't the 'job' of a Christian minister to lead people to Christ??? I don't get these right-wing 'Christian' pastors. Praying for rain at the DNC convention, and claiming to know what people of other religions are praying for..... Have they all gone mad????

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  11. Timus

    Amazing that people want to project their racial insecurities on God. Not matter who get's elected I believe it is God's will. How can you be a Christian and think otherwise? If you want to pray for anything, pray for this country and pray for whoever becomes p.resident because they've got a heck of a mess to clean up

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  12. JudyR Arkansas

    All I can say is Dear God in heaven, please help us all.

    October 11, 2008 11:37 pm at 11:37 pm |
  13. some dude

    Ready..set...GO liberals. Work those sarcastic witty comments!

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  14. Lisa in St. Louis

    As a Christian and Obama suporter, I am speechless. This goes against everything I believe in and the morality I was taught with a strong Christian education.

    I can only hope these "Christians" who use this rhetoric are a minority and will find on election day that they absolutely DO NOT speak for all Christians in the US.

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  15. giselle

    Aw, shucks! I was going to vote for McCain. But since I pray to another god named "Hindu," I can't vote for him any more. And when McCain loses in just a few weeks, I'll have it confirmed for me that Hindu is bigger, badder and better than God.

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  16. Jim

    This is a new low-even for McCain/Pailin.

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  17. al

    funny how these absolutely raving, right wing, racist sickos that McCain has rev up his crowds always mouth their trash and lies "before McCain arrives" at the venue.

    isn't the reality that this evil people are his surrogates?

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  18. Christopher Walker

    Yes he is right, i am a non christian and i am praying to Buddha that Barack Obama becomes President on the sole purpose that Sarah Palin is not allowed to become Vice President. I liked Sen. McCain until she was put on his ticket. And i disagree with this narrow minded Minister from Davenport and any other' s that take the Christian religion so serious as to believe and preach fear of gods with different names such like Hindu, Buddha, and Allah. Sarah Palin with her offhand, smears and remarks with religious under tones against Barack Obama about his so called affiliations with Muslim terrorists has done nothing but stir up chaos and confusion for those ignorant enough to take her seriously. Yes I am praying to Buddha, please please enlighten us and protect us from religious and racial intolerance.

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  19. ryan

    this minister is trying to say that their god will lose face as a result of this election if obama wins. im not really sure what to make of that, seeing as obama is a professed christian. does god hate dems now too? i guess we can just add it to the growing list...gays, muslims, buddhists, etc.

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  20. Terca Re

    As a Christian I am voting for Obama to WIN. I urge all people everywhere to pray for the safety of both candidates and the hearts of people who would make such hatefilled statements.

    October 11, 2008 11:38 pm at 11:38 pm |
  21. tango johnson

    I gotta tell ya, this type of stuff absolutely freaks me out. I never heard this type of rhetoric in my church. Where does it come from? But, to be fair, none of this came out of McCain's mouth so I'm not going to saddle him with it. Come on people, Jesus was a liberal. WWJD? Jesus did NOT preach hate and division, period.

    That One '08

    TJ
    Seattle, WA

    October 11, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  22. BK

    So McCain wants Obama to repudiate 'shocking' comments that weren't even made at one of the Obama rallies, and then McCain pulls this through one of his own speakers. He's questioning the validity of all Christians that will be voting for Obama?

    October 11, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  23. Rich ND

    Well lets see we have racism underlying this election, and now we have religous leaders endorsing hate. Hmmm. Can McCain and his supporters get anymore sleezy!!! I am sure not all of McCain supporters are bigots, but it seems like the ones that speak out are.

    October 11, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  24. Wade

    The planet will only move forward when idiocy becomes painful. Until then there is no hope.

    October 11, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
  25. Lost in Texas

    now this is really PATHETIC..I can't think of anything more fitting to say. It's almost as bad as Bush claiming "God wanted him to be president"

    October 11, 2008 11:39 pm at 11:39 pm |
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