October 11th, 2008
09:30 PM ET
11 years ago

Speaker at McCain rally says non-Christians want an Obama win

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/10/11/art.obama07.gi.jpg caption="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. eye

    Risk guy! he is getting to control US by his rhetoric,and cheating strategy.

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  2. Juan Fernandez

    That's why church and state need to be kept seperate. As soon as ministers start telling their congregations God is on the side of a particular candidate we are in trouble. I have been shocked at the rhetoric issuing from the republican side this year.
    I suppose God is ok with Cindy McCain's fortune acquired through the sale of alcohol and her husband's big oil money.
    Religious bigotry and racism are very much alive in this country.

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  3. bossy

    Are these really true christians? This minister obviously does not know the meaning of being a christian.

    It is becoming outrageous that McCain and Palin has allowed or have promoted such activities in their campaign.

    Listening to McCain, Palin and their supporters who tend to promote them as children of God or Christians, I am really disgusted at them. Especially Sarah Palin, she promotes herself as a christian but she does not act like one with her lies. God said that "Thou shall not lie" this is one commandment she has broken several times.

    I know that God that we served as christians does not promote such behaiviour. This minister is a fake minister, a wolf in sheep garment.

    You are so ignorant that you as a minister does not even know that Allah means God in arabic language.

    Whoever this minister is, God will definitely judge you for condemning others.

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  4. zeferino

    This is just another example of the disgusting campaign that McCain/Palin say that they don't endorse. If indeed, they do not endorse such behavior, then how come these awful displays of discrimination and small-mindedness keep showing up at their rallies. Coincidence? I don't think so. If John McCain truly believed in 'putting country first' he would perhaps remind his followers that separation of church and state was one of the tenets upon which this country was founded – and has no place in this campaign. He is pandering to fear. Inflaming bigotry. And setting back the movement toward true race and gender equality by fifty years. He is no hero. He is a war veteran fortunate enough to have been born into opportunities that come from having forbears who were successful military officers. Yes, he may have served his country in Vietnam. But considering the hatred his campaign has been whipping up in the last few days, he is now proving to be a disservice to his country.

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  5. Concerned citizen

    America is showing a really ugly side in this election. I guess they're going to have to change the sign on the Statue of Liberty to "Land of the white, home of the Christian."

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  6. TRUTH


    Hypocrisy and self-righteousness knows no bounds.

    The conservative movement as it exists today will be marginalized to the point of extinction.

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. Gloria

    These people are so out of bounds...McCain has really stepped in it, hasn't he?

    After what has been coming out that campaign for the last few days, he needs to do more to get his followers under control.

    What has happened to freedome of religion in this country or around the world for that matter??

    He wants to have his cake & eat it too!!!

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  8. `sam dallas

    What a bunch of idiots those 'christians' are.They are just hypocites,,,holier than thou and think they own God. Fortunately,God has chosen to reveal himself in so many ways to so many people around the world and blessed them in their own ways. This bigot is cursed,,a big ,bad wolf in sheepskin.Obama's will prove that God is sovereign and does not bow down to the pastor's selfish and hateful wishes.But perhaps,,now am sure, this bigotry pastor has his own god(baal) who takes orders from him.

    October 11, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. Sammy

    Pretty bad.

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  10. Patiem

    What a bunch of morons. The combined low level gene pool at these recent McCain rallies has got be a record for so many in one place at one time.

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  11. Bucky

    Not sure why most don't understand the truth.The truth is all extremeists and America haters want McCain to win.The reasons are they want America to go to war and go broke. It is plain as day that they want the US to suffer financially and the best way to do that is war.Who is the most likely to keep the war going and start more, McCain.It is a no brainer that their goal is to hurt the US and to see the US suffer financially and McCain gives them the best chance. The extremeists do not want the mild mannered,peace seeking Obama.This is nothing new that the extremeists want more war and the Iraq war to keep going, and the reason is to punish Americans financailly. I know McCain supporters like to spread fear but the real fear is well known if you know what the extremeists want

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  12. JEMON

    This campaign has gone beyond the absurd. What happened to the Mcain of 2000? Will he really let his honor and integrity go down in flames in an effort to win the White House? This is really turning into a divisive situation that we really do not need in these troublesome times. Americans are going to need each other.

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  13. Fed Up

    He said what? I am a white evangelical Christian who has volunteered and donated to the Crisis Pregnancy Center and I still PRAY Obama wins!!! Obama is the one who wants to HELP women who find themselves in unwanted pregnancies, rather than shoving his morals down their throats. From what I have read, Palin has cut funding for programs for pregnant teens in Alaska. As a volunteer for the CPC, I got so sick and tired of people pushing their "morality" on others, but NEVER wanting to actually help them if they did make the decision to keep their child. Not everyone has a strong network of family and friends to help them with their newborns and a lifetime (gift) responsibility. Also, as a Graduate of a Baptist University, I found that THESE were the girls getting the abortions, not my "SECULAR" friends. STOP the CULTURE wars – the nation is in a bad enough state already.

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  14. Hot Mess in US

    What is wrong with these people supporting McCain. Now ministers are speaking about religious beliefs of People from different Nations..OMG... I got news for the good rev. Their are american citizens of this country who are good, tax paying americans and their children from those countries who McCain now lost their vote. I guess in their party their is no room for Asian buddist, Indian Hinduist, Asian Taoist, etc... and they say, God is love and the greatest commandent is to love... so much for the good book, huh...

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. Kris in Denver

    I believe in the fundamental Truth of all great religions of the world. I believe they are all God given and I believe they were necessary for the people to whom these religions were revealed. And I believe that if only we could all of us read the scriptures of the different faiths from the standpoint of the followers of these faiths, we should find that they were at the bottom all one and were all helpful to one another. – M K Gandhi

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  16. Maria

    The depth of ignorance in pastor Arnold Conrad's prayer would have been laughable if the times weren't so dangerous. Even more dangerous is the snide double-edged statement by McCain campaign spokesperson, Wendy Riemann, who falsely implies that there is indeed a difference in the 'religious background of the candidates'

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  17. Karen Sullivan

    Why does McCain promote the lying and never correct these ignoramuses? I find that appalling. I don't think he can ever recover with some of the statements he and Palin have made. It's too despicable. Win at ANY cost?? The end justifies the means? Have we learned nothing in the last 8 years?? I want an honest President the next time around and I think the majority is with me. The jigs up McCain and we see you for what you are.

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  18. Angus

    Also most of the Christians around the world are praying that Obama wins.

    October 11, 2008 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  19. Bella, NC

    And they know we are Christians by our love. Where is the love?

    It is a true injustice when a pastor uses his position to spread such hate. How can you call yourself a Christian leader when you look down at other people's religion because it differs from yours? What a waste of God's time. I hope he was taking a nap while you were praying so that he did not have to hear your silly request.

    October 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  20. John

    How does someone so arrogant, extremist and dissrespectful ever becomes the agent of god?

    October 11, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  21. Consider the Source

    Wow, real Christian of the McCain folks to use prayer and God in such a perverted and hateful way. Good ole Sarah whipped 'em up with her pitbull lipstick and now she's got hate and evil on her side. Let's hope the darkness she and McCain have brought do not prevail.


    October 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  22. shay

    America Please Wake up and Stop the Hate !!! This is ridicules !!!! This man is a christian !!!!! How can a pastor of any church or faith say such hateful discriminating things? These rallys are dividing our country at our most crucial hour.

    October 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  23. Lorraine

    I hope when Obama wins.... everyone that prayed for him to loose... will give him their name... so he can make sure they do not GET ANY OF THE BENEFITS for his administration....


    October 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  24. Tristan

    So? I'm an atheist and want Obama to win. Does that make me a hurrible person? These are so hypocritical and disgusting. The want to 'minister' and bring people to 'Christ' but before they do that they want to ridicule you. Pityful

    October 11, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  25. Peter (CA)

    And there it is....now it's about religion!!!
    It was only a matter of time. I can't wait for the right wing fundamentalist nuts to say God is punishing America by letting Obama win.

    October 11, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
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