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. Lynn

    What is this? this is way too far! This minister wants to start a holy war. I can believe this election made those people so crazy.

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  2. Linda31

    It never ends. This is not christian behavior! As Christians we are to be respectful of all people.

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  3. Maggie from Virginia

    No weapon formed against Obama shall prosper.

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  4. Michigan for Obama

    Well there goes that separation of Church and State

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  5. M. Felder

    I am confused by this column. Is this pastor suggesting that a man, John McCain, is above God? I am a christian and I suport Senator Obama. Even though I am pro-life, I recognize that God gives us the right to choose to worship him. If a person choose to have an abortion then that is between that person and His God. In this life, we cannot legislate morality.

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  6. evangelicalexistentialist

    And so the "Holy War" begins...

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  7. Mark

    This is the results of sick John McCain. Spewing his racial words around the country. He should be ashamed of his self. Arizona will be defeating McCain this year for the first time. He will NOT be re elected to the Senate. This man has really changed the past few months, not the same guy. We think he is getting senile in his old age. He is NOT fit to run our country.

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  8. Kysha~ Maryland

    This is the saddest, most ridiculous prayer one could mutter. I am a Christian for Obama and I am offended!! The McCain campaign should be ashamed that they have these offensive so called "Christians" opening these rally's for them. The Christian faith is one that accepts everyone and views everyone as created equal from God. This election has opened my somewhat blind eye to the radical American extremism that still is so unaccepting of a diverse union. I am ashamed of these "folks" who use FEAR (False Evidence Appearing Real) as political rhetoric. For McCain, Palin, and their speakers to fuel hate mongering at these rally's is UN-American!! For 2 people to stand there and say they are Christians, yet spew this hateful venom is UN-American. My Christian faith is a loving, accepting faith. I guess my Christian faith is different than the McCain/Palin ticket's Christian faith. We are all Americans. It's a shame that an election can't focus on the issues that grip our Nation. It's a shame that HATE must surface from the Right!! May God Bless our Union & God Bless Barack Obama & Joe Biden!

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. Geraldine

    Who are these crazy people McCain is playing to. I am a christian and only pray to keep Obama safe from these nuts. McCain has stooped to new levels.

    October 11, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  10. Not4U2knw

    What we anyone should be preying for is an end to ignorance such as this. In that statement alone the minister show his very ignorance of religion, something he is supposed to be schooled in. The god of Islam (Allah) is the same god as the Christian god. With the same prophets and even Jesus in both religions(his part is just seen differently by each respected one). Not to mention whatever happend to seperation of church and state.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  11. independent

    so he's saying only non-christians are logical? even i don't believe that.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  12. ohio voter

    hold on people its ok... Honorable john McCain will denounce this behavior three days from now

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  13. mmd

    Come on now, That's enough, iis this not the mccain campaign, at some point he will have to man-up and take the blame for some of the things that occur on his watch and money.
    By now he should make sure that he understands what invited quess plan to say before they are allowed to speak. How can you be 72, rich, and famous and not know that.

    mccain are you sure that you were a war hero, I have my doubt. You probably refused to leave early because you were afraid to be by yourselve with no else to blame.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  14. Karl

    This is simply crazy and irrational. Whom Christian’s democrats and independents are going to invoke? The same God? Can those morons define who is christian and who is not? Is God a republican? It is getting desperate out there.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  15. Joe in MN

    The ignorance of the Right is become unveiled, and seems unbelievable.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  16. truthsayer

    What kind of Christian would say that. God is love and this so called Christian is preaching hate for his fellow man. Some Christian!

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  17. Lee from Canada

    I truly feel pity for America. Ignorance and hate are polarizing your great nation and I fear that it may lead to another Kent State shooting or worse a second civil war.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  18. Tim G.

    I'm a Christian. I want Obama to win.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  19. Angela

    It is appauling to me to know how much anger and untruth "we" chrisitians can do to people. Guess What! I'm a christian voting for the Obama/Biden ticket. Some right wing conservative republican christians seems to harbor so much anger. I pray the all people that God created. Obama is a christian and look how the some of the christian sitting in judgement of his character rather than his ability to lead our country. I will want us to continue praying for the pastors and christians across the world. Even McCain/Palin

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  20. montanamama

    Unfortunately, McCain and Palin have set the stage for this kind of behavior. Only when their inflammatory comments were challenged did they tone it down. McCain and Palin didn't stop because it was wrong...they stopped because it was noted in news programs, editorials and by their own party as inciting dangerously divisive and possibly violent actions from their supporters. This party has lost, not only its vision, but its handle on decency. We don't need to divide our country any more than it already is. We need someone who can bring us together, reason with those who are unreasonable and lead our country back to the vision it was founded on.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. femi

    well no wonder you guys are dropping in the polls!

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  22. BettiH, Indianapolis, IN

    That is like saying there are only white christians. I am a christian, and I DON'T want to see a president McCain, I may not agree with Obama 100% on all issues, but McCain doesn't make since to me at all, and for people that truly believe that he is best suited to run the country on the same level it has been ran for the last 8 years, is either rich, prejudice or just plain stupid.

    October 11, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  23. eric, san diego

    Are these people really that stupid? Seriously?

    Obama 08!

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  24. Aaron

    i am a christian and I am voting for Obama/Biden. God wants us to make a informed and intelligent choice, not a choice that will speak only to the religious agenda.

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  25. Holly from Minnesota

    What???? Does this mean that there is more than one God, and that the Christian God is bigger than all the other ones? And He likes John McCain better than Obama–who seems, according to this article, is backed by Allah, Buddha, Apollo, Krshna, and Superman? I'm really confused.

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
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