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. mk

    so this is the kind of man who supports McCain. He has just said that those of us who dare dfifer with his beliefs are somehow not worthy. That is pretty disgusting. People like that shouldn't be in charge of anything,

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  2. Sri

    Once again split and rule is the philosophy that Republicans are adopting. Unfortunately, this time it is not going to work. This is because Economy is key issue. And bad economy doesn't distinguish Christians or Hindus or Muslims or anybody else. Thanks to George W Bush that he ruined US economy so badly that even Conservatives are thinking to support Obama.

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  3. Chris

    They are asking people to pray for a McCain victory because that's all they have left now. It would be sad if I didn't find the desperation of these folks so amusing. They act like an Obama presidency would be the end of the world. Well, I have news for you, we have been living the last days to the end under Bush. Check your 401k lately? Another four more years of his disastrous policies, which is what McCain will usher in, will be the end of the world.

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  4. Vic

    Wow, and these are the same Idiots that prayed that the Voting machines in Florida would fail....well not really, but it amazes me that the Christian Cults are so gullible. Instead of praying for Obama to lose, why dont they pray so we can get out of the Financing Mess that Idiot that is currently in the white house got us into...and at the same time Pray so the state of Texas Sinks.

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  5. Mom4Change

    It is strange for a pastor to talk to God as though he is a kid in a football game? Many Christians are praying for Obama to win. What if God answers that prayer?

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  6. Joseph Adewole

    This is surely not a man of God; in America, anything can happen..this so called Pastor is either a devil's agent or is just naive; definitely he does not hear from God.
    Barack is a good Christian; there must be a reason why people all over the world are praying for him.....The spirit leads and we follow...
    If My GOD that is above every one and that can make all things possible is alive as He says He is which we all believe, Barack will win The Presidency.

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  7. Jeffery

    I guess i didnt realize that most other religions that prayed for this win for Obama worked on planet Mars or something and didn't need to operate within the confines of modern day America...

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  8. Barack & Roll

    Actually, the people wanting an Obama win can not be confined to the category of non-christians, Pastor whoever the heck you think you are. Supporters of Obama are people who want change.

    And by the way, Obama is a Christian. Always has been. He got his middle name from his FATHER. So geez stop bringing that old subject up. You don't choose your middle name.

    October 12, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  9. rabia

    This election has finally shown the true colors of America....not red or blue, but white and not-white!

    October 12, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  10. Retired Army in San Antonio

    Ya know.....that hate is just getting out of hand!

    Talk about sad & desperate people!!

    October 12, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  11. disgusted

    i am disgusted to share the same citizenry as these people. read the constitution – and keep your god out of politics.

    October 12, 2008 12:11 am at 12:11 am |
  12. Carlos Lara

    For eight years these people kept this beautiful Country divided by hate and religion...ENOUGH!!

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  13. Constitution

    Although our founding fathers were christians, they gave us freedom of religion. Americans are of every faith and race. The xenophobic displays occurring in the Republican rallies are entirely un-American. The next President will vow to uphold our Constitution as well as protect the millions of Americans of every faith. As a Christian I'm saddened by the remarks, and as an American, I'm ashamed of their behavior. I applaud Senator McCain for denouncing these statements. However, I find it unfortunate that the Republican party targets Christian America unabashedly as if we are the only faith that matters in this country. As for Arnold Conrad, the millions of people around the world have more important things to pray for like hunger, disease, poverty, genocide and war. Tonight I will pray for the unemployed, and that whoever the next President is, that they have the wisdom to do what is right.

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  14. dave

    christians beware! apparently if obama wins, you're praying to the wrong god!

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  15. Jeffery

    Let us play the abortion card with the fundamentalists to get the frothing anger stirred up further. Don't the repub's know that once they save the babies from death in the womb to be born into the streets of poverty-they must actually provide jobs for these babies eventually, to pull them out of the poverty circle? Repubs fail on this.

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  16. Dhana

    Buddha isn't a god, so isn't Hindu. Just shows how ignorant some people are and these are the people who impart wisdom to wide crowds.

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  17. Fitz

    So let me get this straight, a supposedly Christian minister is claiming Non-Christians of the world want an Obama victory eventhough Obama is a Christian? Oh, he's saying in a round about way that Obama isn't really a Christian.....now I get it

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  18. Jeffery

    Ya-just like a republican-buy up your mortgage for you and then charge your grandchildren for it in excess taxes. Do these ultra-wealthy ever pay for anything themselves? They have already made billions in interest on these mortgages. jeff

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  19. SC

    Don't be stupid, Pastard! You and study some more scriptures. Even if Obama wins, remember the scriptures said leaders are chosen by God. Even if God can chose Bush, why not Obama? Only toothless rednecks will believe you. Sorry! Sorry to disappoint you!

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  20. Anil

    this minister is very ignorant. It is indeed very dissapointing to see such baseless comments.

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  21. chuck

    This is just getting ridiculous. Who is in charge of these McCain rallies? Do they not do any background investigation? How these conservative Christian folks act is exactly the opposite of what Jesus stood for.

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  22. Phil

    Corrections here... :)
    Buddha – Buddhist
    Allah – Islam

    October 12, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  23. Justin

    What's wrong with this country? Usually the arrogant are filtered out by our media... why not now? I'm scared of crazy people.

    October 12, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  24. Renee, Australia

    This is repugnant. I find it disgraceful that the McCain camp is out there demanding that Obama repudiate the comments made by Lewis (who was essentially saying that standing by and letting hateful things be said at your rally is as bad as saying it) and yet a man of God is standing up at their rally saying that 'non-Christians want Obama to win' – like this is the worst thing they could possibly say...

    NEWSFLASH REPUBLICANS: Christians may make up the majority of America, but maybe it pays to listen to those who make up the rest of the world. And FYI? The rest of the world (including Australia, where I'm from – predominantly Christian) wants Obama to win because they are petrified of what will happen to the planet if America doesn't dramatically shift direction. Period. It has nothing to do with anyone's God. SO ridiculous....

    October 12, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
  25. Vic

    All McCain has left are the conservative psychos everyone who has half a brain has deserted his campaign in the last week if not before.

    October 12, 2008 12:13 am at 12:13 am |
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