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. Dorothy M. Oliver, Greensboro, NC

    I thought Senator McCarthy died long ago. His ghost is riding again in 2008. Apologies can't counter planted seeds of suspicion and hate. Is this what a Republican win will bring to our country?

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  2. Christy

    Why does McCain not show some integrity and point out to the crowd that Obama is Christian? It is hurting his campaign not helping for these stories to get posted. Buddhists praying for an Obama win? Are these completely insane?

    You couldn't make this stuff up.

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  3. Anonymous

    The pastor just needs to know that, when it comes to real good Christians, there are far better Christians out there in the world than there are here in the US. And even they are praying for Obama to win!

    The 'I am better than thou' Christianity that is practiced here in the US is not of GOD's.

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  4. McHoover Would Destroy What's Left of America

    Are all Republicans this insane and hate filled?

    I knew they wanted big tax breaks for the rich but I never realized they were affiliated with the KKK

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  5. Cynthia; Bham

    I guess we all know that Senator McCain forgot that he said he wanted to run an honorable campaign. I guess when you see that you are loosing – you do just about anything to win, even putting a win before country. He has put it out there that an Obama Administration would be dangerous one but a McCain/Palin Administration would be more dangerous than any of us could ever imagine.

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  6. nikki

    these people are straight from the backwoods. someone should tell these kissing cousins rednecks to explore the world, not just their compounds!

    October 11, 2008 09:45 pm at 9:45 pm |
  7. 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 for all people 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 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  8. Alex

    ye I am jewish..so... what's is wrong with that... jews can't vote now...? man.... this is nuts

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  9. Jay from New Jersey

    Uh oh, Obama was referred to by his name! What an awful thing! ;p

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. A. J. Freeman Globe, Arizona

    It makes no difference whether or not anybody, anywhere, prays to their imaginary gods.

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. Listen Up...

    And this is why John Lewis's comments were not out of line. McCain has resorted to a line of attack that is negative with racist tinge. These folks are not angry about policies, they are afraid of the Arab, Muslim terrorist and McCain has himslef to thank for this. Why does he think his supporters rejected his attempts to dial back? He was the one who encouraged their uglier emotions in the first place.

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  12. boz

    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 promote such activities in their campaign.

    Listening to McCain, Palin and their supporters who tend to promote themselves 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 condone such behavior. This minister is a fake minister, a wolf in sheep garment.

    You are so ignorant that you as a minister do 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 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  13. tuff Col. Oh

    hate breeds hate. NOT THIS TIME

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  14. Frohnonamf

    Evidently this pastor believes that he has line to God that a majority (7 points majority so far) of this country doesn't have. Although, I'm sure that this fella believes that God would Vote GOP, I'm still doubtful that we're fighting God's war in Iraq. Finally, I'm sure that many people of differing faiths are praying for Obama to win so that we wont invade them without good cause.

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  15. Mark

    Everyone that has any brains wants Obama to win

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  16. Sarah

    I remember when they prayed for rain during the DNC. They didn't get that either.

    Also, Hindu isn't a god.

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  17. Mike k

    These people are so ignorant it is scary. This can no longer be seen as hidden racism, it is open and direct racism with no hint of subtlety. History lesson, Allah is the Arabic word for "God", not the name of a god. If one really knows religion, one would also know that the Christian, Jewish, and Muslim god is one and the same. But as usual, history and factual knowledge means nothing to McCain's supporters.

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  18. Real American

    What a very "Non-Christian" thing to say.

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  19. Wanda, Chicago

    The Republicans and the people in charge of these rallie know exactly what they are doing, and I am sure the campaign has gave them another reason for people to fear Obama because in other words, they are saying he's not a Christian. This is just ridiculous They just found another way around it without calling Obama a terrorist. The people who are speaking at these rally know fully that McCain supposedly "denounce" what they are doing, yet they continue to do it. The McCain campaign started this rage and now it has gotten out of hand.

    October 11, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  20. naji maliki

    Senator McCains camp and suppoters show disregard and disrespect for people of different culture and religion. How can senator McCain claim that his candidacy is that of inclusiveness.

    There are millions of Americans who are worried that if Senator McCain is elected he will not represent ALL Americans. This has been evident in his hate filled rallies.

    Senator McCain before you ask Senator Obam to repudiate Mr Lewis, Mustn't you start by repudiating your running mate for instigating hatrated by suggesting that Senator Obam is a terrorist?

    have you been so deaf not to hear what the whole Country during your recent rallies where your supporter are demanding senator Obama's DEATH?

    Senator McCain do you truly believe that you can win the white house by only the support of the Christians in this Country?

    October 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Barack is a christian and he prays too; to the only true God Jehova and let me remind you they prayed that the democratic conventione be rained out but it was actually the Republican convention that missed one day because of storms!!! There are many who are praying for Obama and they are peace loving and not filled with hatred and prejudice and God listens. Love your brother as you love yourself and the brother might be black, white, yellow etc.

    October 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  22. ken r

    The American Taliban is actually the Christian "Right." If they had their way anyone who disagrees with them would be persecuted just as the Taliban and radical Muslims persecute non-believers in their own countries. The only reason that isn't the case is simply because we live in the USA and not the middle East. This country was founded on the principle of the seperation of church and state. The founding fathers realized that when the model of our country was crafted based on the fact that so many people in the colonies had fled Europe because of religious persecution.

    Historically, more blood has been shed over the premise of whose GOD is stronger and better than perhaps any other reason.

    The Christian Right believes that God is on their side, but I don't believe the God I grew up worshipping would approve of their tactics.

    October 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  23. M. Lamb

    Well, I'm not ashamed to say I'm Evangelical Christian who's proud to vote for Obama!

    October 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  24. Neal

    What would Jesus say?
    He sure as heck wouldn't talk smack about someone else.
    He wouldn't demonize another human being.
    How is it that you Christians get to act so anti-Christian all the time?

    October 11, 2008 09:47 pm at 9:47 pm |
  25. R/P

    Newsflash: The only ones in this country who don't want Obama to win are the pure racists and the ignorant trailer trash. In other words, McCain's base. Christians and other denominations (yes, they do exist) just want a man of integrity back in the white house again. Someone to be proud of. It's sure as hell is NOT John McCain.

    October 11, 2008 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
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