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. Jeremy

    All people everywhere, of every religion, should pray for Barack Obama to be president. The Christian right elected GWB twice on wedge issues and hate and sent us into an illegitimate war.

    Jesus said "you reap what you sow" let's change what we are sowing.

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  2. Mike, Texas

    I am a strong Christian and I am praying to the same God as any Christian for Obama to win.

    This clearly shows how uneducated McCain supporters are. Despicable.

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  3. Mark S.

    Why is it that McCain's campaign seems to attract all the bigots?

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  4. PCS / North Carolina

    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.

    Arnold, My GOD is not bigger than your GOD. The value of a human being is, what he practices not what he preaches. One religion is not superior to any other religion, just like there is no superior race. Treat all humans equally, and use religion wisely, do not spew hatred and divide our country. Use religion for peace. If you use your religion as a hatchet to divide our country and promote your political views, you may loose your tax-exempt status.

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  5. Michael Donovan

    Such actions indicate the diabolical depths that the Republicans will go to advance their single-minded and nation-destroying cause.

    I suspect that there are Christians who also wish to see an Obama Presidency.

    No religion has a monopoly on feelings or beliefs. To imply that one religion is better than another is the very reason that our nation was founded - to protect the spiritual beliefs of all.

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  6. Gnomepark

    The Republican party is lookin' a bit retarded.

    Obama/Biden 08
    Dick Lugar (R) for Secretary of State

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  7. Bill

    I have news for Mr. Conrad: millions of evangelicals like myself support Barack Obama and we are not impressed by people like him and James Dobson who claim to speak for God but only really speak for themselves. The key question, as the original Republican Abraham Lincoln put it, is not whether God is on our side but whether we are on God's. Like my candidate, I am on God's side.

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  8. Ez

    Senator McCain "Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  9. Real-Eyes

    This is a shame before God. How in the world do people who name the name of Christ use coded racism to keep an African American out of office. To the evangelicals,where is your discernment? These people are racists and the cover is coming off of them left and right. I hope any minorities at this man's church will find a new pastor whose connected w/God enough to overcome his own racism. And as for abortion,that is between an individual and pastor or spiritual counsel. And if McCain is so prolife,why is he willing to keep sacrificing all of the young kids (18-23) for oil in the middle east. That's not one life,that's many lives at one time. These people are trying everything.

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  10. catmom

    And McCain and Palin want us to be afraid of Obama? They are attracting some very scary people who themselves seem bigoted and unpatriotic. Are these , McCain/Palin, the kind of people we need to run this country. Because of their rhetoric, it has brought out the worse in some Americans. That they support McCain/Palin tells me that these two DO NOT belong as leaders of this country. We have spent the past 7.5 years with a President and administration that has been very partisan and divisive, do we need another four years of the same?

    October 11, 2008 09:09 pm at 9:09 pm |
  11. Steven H.

    lol they are all crazy. there is no god so it is all pointless. religion is childish and silly. there is a negative correlation between IQ and religious belief. people who believe in god should not be aloud to be president or even vote!

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  12. An Obama-voting Christian

    More "Fear and Smear. "

    How about talking about THE ISSUES, G.O.P!

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  13. RO

    I suppose McCain should now just advertise his rallies as hate feasts.

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  14. mark

    Are these religious people nuts? I mean, if they believe that God has a plan for them, why would they ask for his intervention? Fanatics come in all religious flavors! Go Obama!

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  15. Tom

    This is getting absolutely ridiculous!! These people coming out to McCain rally's are sounding like extremists themselves. How fanatical can people get over religion and politics? Hmmm. We say the same thing about Al Qaeda.
    What's the difference between Islamic and Christian extremists? Not much except the name. Through history both have killed in the name of God. How pathetic!! You should be ashamed of yourselves!!

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  16. really?

    this has either become the most poorly monitored campaign, or one of the most disgusting. I'm more apt to believing that the second is the case, but you have to admit, neither option seems good for the McCain campaign unless over half of the voters are religious zealots... wait, are they? gulp!

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  17. GeorgiaPeachforObama

    And here I thought that G-d was the G-d of everyone. This is just another example of people connected to the McCain campaign using fear and divisiveness against Obama and his supporters.

    I wonder how McCain will look at himself in the mirror on November 5th.

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  18. KC

    I can't belive this is happening in America. This is scary. Now I know why I quit going to church. Jesus preached tolorance. Republican wing nuts preach fear and destruction of everthing they question. I ask you just how are these ultra conservatives any different than the "named' terriosts of the world?

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  19. Whitney

    To ask people to pray for John McCain to be elected is stupid enough but to frame this election a battle between Christianity and other religions is abhorrent. What a jerk.

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  20. RO

    That is so disgusting...if I had heard that in a rally, I would have gotten up and left. My goodness! Yikes, shame on that "minister!"

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  21. regie

    the mccain/palin ticket should just drop out of the race thay are losing it.

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  22. GMAB

    I pray that religious wackjobs like these just go away and let us try to save the country.

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  23. Jeffrey Bach, San Francisco, CA

    Apparently Jesus is not only an American but a Republican as well.

    October 11, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  24. Independent but Leaning

    The pastor was absolutely correct. I am sorry that McCain feels the need to distance himself from such truth-speak. Nevertheless, McCain is the only choice in this election, so I will proudly vote for him.

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  25. Obamacan

    anyway some people will not vote for obama. its not an issue. he will win the election. who cares this Mccain drama?

    October 11, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
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