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. Steve

    The last nut case fundamentalist that prayed for a deluge at Barak's nomination was disappointed by clear skys and ideal weather for the democrats. During the republican convention though, hurricanes disrupted the attendance by keynote republicans (including GW himself).

    This fundy will be questioning his own god after Nov 4 results.

    October 12, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  2. Rick K

    Is it fair to ask how it is that Obama's rallies seem to be free of preachers dissing McCain's infidelity or suggesting that God is somehow picking their side in the election?

    I think it's fair. And I think it's because Obama himself is a uniter and wouldn't stand for it, and everyone around him knows it.

    Obama hits as hard has he can on issues, temperament, leadership style, records, etc. – and he's even gotten down and dirty, but allowing your introducers to mock the guy's name and suggest that God is on your side?

    Does that fit anyone elses definition of crazy?

    October 12, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  3. MARK SMITH

    AMAZING........I AM HERE ON HOLIDAY BUTSOMETIMES I WONDER IF PERHAPS I AM IN THE WRONG PLACE....AMERICA THE CRADDLE OF DEMOCRACY?????????? SOMETIMES I FEEL I AM IN UGANDA OR SOMEWHER IN THE AMAZON WITH WHAT I AM HEARING AND SEEING ON YOUR POLITICAL PLATFORMS LATELY.

    ITS HI TIME THE DECENT IN THE SOCIETY STOOD UP AND STOP THIS MCCAIN/PALIN SADISTIC AND RACIST INSINUATIONS...COS WHEN IT ERUPTS EVERY ONE WILL BE ENGULFED AND NOT JUST THE THEM AND THEIR SICK COHORTS....LIKE THEY SAY WORD TO THE WISE IS IN ALASKA....

    October 12, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  4. Will, NJ

    And this will never reach the media peak that either of ministers Obama had been mixed with.

    October 12, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  5. PJC27

    Here we go again, McCain/Palin destroying America through hate, race and religion. And this is the woman they said was CHRISTIAN? I say Satan. One sick ticket there with a devoid "lcheer eader" -McCain. Sick, sad, sick, sad, sick, sad.

    October 12, 2008 12:02 am at 12:02 am |
  6. Will

    REDNECKS.

    October 12, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  7. Manny

    Ignorance and intolerance are alive and well in the "greatest nation on earth".

    October 12, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  8. Candy Wilson

    Sometimes I think Sen. Obama acts more like a Christian than any of them... Like when Gov. Palin put her poor teenage daughter on stage and then Sen Obama had the decency to say "Families are off limits..." especially children... Also, .I think there has to be ways to get your point across that are a little bit better than what she is doing..I feel kinda sorrry for Sen Mccain He's kinda left holding the bag so to speak...And Maybe I missed it But did anyone mention any sympathies to the Bidens for their great Loss?I Never heard a word....thankyou..

    October 12, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  9. Rick

    Again, we have politics being preached... at what point does political prayer become blasphemy? As a Christian man, I am disappointed and offended that our church leaders choose to employ political agendas in place of spiritual guidance.

    Enough is enough... get educated, not influenced!

    October 12, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  10. Tomi, Dallas Texas

    This is why people dont trust christians.. I am a very devoted christian and i am in support of barack obama. And i am not a left wing liberal either, i just go with who i believe is capable of doing the job. I was in support of hucabee (wrong spelling!!) before John McCain won. The idea that all christians support the republican party is a lie, i would never allow the republican party to represent me and my views because so far they have done several things that are not in line with christian views. Why is it that so the so called "christian" party is brewing so much hate around the nation, why is it that the "christian" party is filled such so much lies, why is it that they is no honor left in that party. I totally support barack obama when he said people stick to their religion and guns and they are angry all the time. I liked in oklahoma for 8 yrs and i know how narrow minded people can get. And i think the world is starting to see how the majority of the republican party thinks. And i can guarantee you that all my right minded republican friends are covering their heads in shame right now, because their party is not representing their views.

    October 12, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  11. Larry

    We should be praying for Sen. Obama's defeat. His socialist agenda and beliefs, combined with a Congress lead by Pelosi and Reid will be the end of the American dream. They will eliminate the rewards for working hard and being the best, and take away the penalty for being lazy and irresponsible.

    How many Americans do you find swimming back to Cuba, or fleeing to communist Russia, or socialist Venezuela? A vote for Obama is a vote to give away the things that made America great, and most of the people voting for him are too ignorant to realize it. We need to pray for wisdom.

    October 12, 2008 12:03 am at 12:03 am |
  12. Justin from CT

    I guess the state of Iowa will go McCain because Christians only will be voting for him. Right......

    Get a reality check.

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  13. Hankers

    In related news – "Christians flee Iraqi city rather than convert "...

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  14. Starr

    I am Christian and I WANT Obama to win... this has nothing to do with religion unless you are closed minded or prejudice!

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  15. platt

    How sad, how sad, this country has become so sad in their fear.

    These guys are making Christians look so sad.

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  16. Lady

    I'm a Christian and I support Obama and Obama is a Christian. Furthermore, I wish that man could realize that we are all spiritual beings loved by God. Support who you want but no one is less Christian bc of the color of their skin.

    Obama/ Biden '08

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  17. icfantv

    Nice. Partisan politics at it's finest. Way to go McCain. Way to go. A maverick you are not. A cheap hypocrite, indeed.

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  18. Gary from Ohio

    Focus on the Family producer Stewart Shepard asked his group's followers to pray for rain during Obama's speech at Invesco Mile High stadium during Obama's Democratic National Convention speech. Obama had ideal conditions, yet the Republican Convention was posponed due to a hurricane. Thank you Focus on the Family.

    Hmmmmm, I also wonder, in a religion who believes in a one "monolithic" God, does that mean if you are Hindi, Buddhist or Moslem you think they have a different God? It seems you haven't thought that through. Nor do you respect those of other religions.

    Hmmmmm, "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth"
    (MATTHEW 5:5). The word "meek" means to be gentle, humble or
    considerate. It is the opposite of arrogance and violence.

    I know Christians, but you Mr Conrad are no Christian. And shame on you for leading people into divisive thoughts of other religions. I am Christian, I am for Obama, so does that mean all Christians are for Obama? That would be simple minded thinking, yes? The same simple minded thinking that would say all "non-christians" are for Obama. You only try to divide to conquer, and it is not only damaging, it is divisive. You have a responsibility as a preacher, and you are leading your flock astray.

    So, if you must, please do as Focus on the Family has done, because God works in mysterious ways. And I will keep thanking God to allow me to accept his will, and for his unanswered prayers.

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  19. Geoffrey Smith, Clovis, CA

    This is a typical Republican right wing nut job that is the base of the republican party.

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  20. M. S Redmond WA

    MCCAIN IS OUT OF TOUCH. I THINK HE SUFFERS DEMENTIA.
    PALIN IS WICKED, DUMB AND VISCIOUS. DOES SHE UNDERSTAND THE US CONSTITUTION? BETTER YET, HAS SHE EVER SEEN IT?
    JUST DROP OUT OF THE VP RACE AND GO BACK HOME TO ALASKA.

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  21. Ashamed American

    "because they’re going to think that their God is bigger than you"

    That's it, I can't take it anymore. I have tried to understand the GOP this election season but they have made it all too clear that they care little about issues and more about smear and fear. Even if I agreed with some of what McCain stood for I could not bring myself to vote for someone who would condone this type of behavior.

    I have listened to the commentary on both sides and this election is dividing our great country. Since when is it unamerican to be intelligent. Please stop the hate talk and let's get back to the issues.

    I have 3 daughters and was raised by a single mother. They are insulted by the choice of Palin as VP. Unfortunately it appears sexism and racism are still very prevalent in our society.

    Personally, I don't care if the candidate is purple as long as they get us out of this mess.

    People wake up. It's time to get our country back on track. Vote smart.

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  22. OKMom

    Hindu isn't a god, Its a religion. Makes you wonder where this guy got his information about all the other religions praying for Obama to win!

    October 12, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  23. marty b

    Didn't Christ ride a donkey, their point of view is so far off from the meaning of forgiveness. What a disgraceful year For America! First Wall Street and Washington rips us OFF! Now they want the lord to cast judgment on anybody they don't agree with! We had have been so programed to look at the other side, instead of looking into our own hearts. THE END OF AMERICAN EXCEPTIOMALISM IS IN SIGHT.
    MARTY B

    October 12, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  24. Jason

    Of all the pastors in America, how did McCain manage to find this clown !!!

    He sure has great skill in attracting the very worst.

    October 12, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  25. ajamesonforchange

    Being a totally non-religious person, the whole concept of praying to a god to help one or the other candidates win is an OMG idea. This election, like everything in life, is about choice, both personal and collective. If you want your candidate to win stop praying and DO SOMETHING to help other people see your candidate as the best choice for leadership. It is called campaigning.

    October 12, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
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