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. Jesse

    yeah, and this will go as great as when they were asked to pray for a storm to rain on Obama's DNC speech.

    October 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  2. christine pinney karkow

    Besides the obvious lunacy contained in this pastor's statement, there is the absolute ignorance regarding other world religions.
    First of all, there is no god called "Hindu". "Hindu" is indeed the name of a religion, but followers of this, the oldest of the great world religions, do not refer to God as "Hindu". (They refer to God using a variety of other names-Shiva, Brahma, etc)
    As for Buddhists, they do not "Pray to Buddha-" Buddhism is essentially a non-theistic religion-Buddhists follow the teachings of the Buddha, but he is not regarded as a diety.

    Sadly, this ridiculous statement once again highlights the extremely insular and non-informed views that too many of my fellow Americans have about the rest of the world.

    I suggest this pastor try picking up a book and reading it someday.

    October 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  3. Lisa

    Does McCain have no control over the comments made by the people preceding him at his own rallies? Last time it was HUSSEIN! I'm beginning to wonder if it's done on purpose. Is McCain throwing all manner of crap out there via other people's lips to see what sticks?

    October 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  4. janis thomas

    What really upsets me is if it were to other way around,meaning the Obama camp spitting hate and out right lies the way McCain and Palin are doing against Barack, it would be on the front page of every newspaper. Also, if Barack was involved in ANY investagations were it was found that he abused his power in office, he probably would be asked to resign from the campaign. That's basically why I watch MSNBC cable news at night. Keith,Chris,Rachel and others do report on this double standard for McCain campaign. Why don't CNN take a stand for PEACE in this election? There are some real CRAZIES out there that need to be CALMED DOWN!! We have to pray for the Obama's safety!!

    October 11, 2008 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  5. Rodger

    This is the kind of minister the McCain campaign would select, a bigot...did he where a white robe and hood? John McCain and Sarah Palin have revived and proved the KKK are still alive and well!!!! I hope any Jew that gave money to the RNC hears about this. The new Republican Party is the party of ignorance, bigotry and and any member of any minority, Asian, Latino, Indian and Afro-American should shun them for the racists they are!!!

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  6. michael minorgan

    THIS IS SICK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MCCAIN YOU ARE FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!111

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  7. Joe Kegger

    Wow. Just WOW.

    I am a Christian, and I support Obama.

    So called "Evangelical" Christians (on the far right) are no different than extreme Muslims like the Taliban or Al Qaeda. They try to use THEIR IDEA of religion as a means so suppress free thought of others and label them as evil and "infidels".

    Tell us all how you are no different "Evangelical Christians"???

    Tell us please.. I BEG OF YOU!

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  8. Brooke

    While no one can condone words of hate against any person or religion I still don't see the problem in referring to the man as Barack Hussein Obama, that is his given name. And, if he is elected, I presume that is the name that he will be sworn in under.

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  9. pam

    Arnold Conrad is not a Christian but is playing a rightous nut. Who ever heard of praying to God to show that he is bigger. His prayer was, "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." This man is a nut case and I truly pray for all who go to Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport. This is the kind of man that takes advantage of little girls and then says the devil made them do it! McCain and Palin have brought out the nut cases in America and how is this reaching across the aisle for change. They'll bring change for sure but it will be radical fear and terrioristic behavior! Boy have they opened up a can of nasty worms.

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  10. alex


    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  11. Mike Florida

    WOW Yet another case of the GOP fanning the flames of hate and ignorance.

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  12. Georgia Gal

    Oh give me a break. That's B/S. I'm a Christian (although not Evangelical) and I want and hope Obama to win. This is ridculous. Instead of praying for Obama to lose why don't they pray for something that this country really needs ... like fixing the economy?? What idiots!

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  13. Mauro Munoz

    It's simple: I will pray for a republican defeat, and I will pray that our current president is brought to justice and found guilty of lying to the American people, which is one of the many unlawful actions he perpetrated during his eight years of Guantanamo-style goverment.

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. Ross in MD

    Good campaign strategy: Prayer!

    Incidentally, it is the same strategy Republicans used to win in Iraq, Afghanistan, fix our economy, end corruption, etc.

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  15. Mark

    Add decent people will feel sorry for senile McCain. And he is asking Obama to quit allowing his supporters to talk bad about him. Nasty McCain is insulted for what good people are saying about a racist. McCain you are going to be defeated by a landslide, Decent People now know you and what you stand for. The worst of the worst, most radical candidate we have seen, including Palin. Spewing hate to our country, no solutions to our many problems. Arizona is going to defeat you, suddenly finding out who the real McCain is. Vote Obama NOW.

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  16. Greg

    Intercessory prayer doesn't work. Lotsa luck. We're winning in November. Isn't it funny that no matter what the result, you can argue, without physical evidence, that God condoned said result?

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  17. Mike-WA

    Can you say "Christian Republican Church Party" ...!!! We no longer have separation of church and state. We have a wacko religious group running this country. They are not true Christians. They have no idea what the Bible really says and really means. They are twisted and manipulated by their corrupt Sunday morning preachers.

    October 11, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  18. Mike Mansfield

    There are thousands of evangelical Christians who are praying FOR an Obama win, too.

    Obama is a man of ideas and has more integrity in his little finger than McCain ever showed.

    Forget that he was a war "hero." If we knew everything that happened in Viet Nam we might think differently.

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  19. David

    Did the McCain even denounce the comments? The quote here just says they think it distracts from other issues. McCain has got to send a clear message about this.

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  20. Theresa

    I'm Catholic, and I'm praying for Obama to win – you betcha...

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  21. GRANNY OF 5

    You know I will be so glad when this election is over because it has REALLY gotton out of hand. I didn't realize how utterly stupid some people can be on all of this nonsense. Do you really believe this stuff or are you looking for a reason not to vote for Obama because of ??? I ask you to take a long hard look at yourself and ask...Am I this stupid that all the totally ignorant things John McCain and Sarah Palin have come up with could possible be true. It has really just gotten to be I am not surprised at what I hear next. This man is a Christian man and by the way we all have the same God. I can not help but to think how Sarah Palin CLAIMS.. to be a christian and look what she is doing to an innocent man. I hope at night before she goes to sleep that she is asking OUR GOD to forgive her for all her sins..(which have been a truck load) because I can't judge her down here but she will be. I am just appauled that this is happening in this day and age. Simple disgusted....

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  22. linda n carolina

    Ah...Hindu is a religion not a God. I quess ignorance can carry a bible too.

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  23. Richard

    Do these freaks not realize that since Obama is ahead in the polls, that quite a few christians also support him?

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  24. MIchael

    Well, I am a non-Christian who will be voting for Obama. I will not pray to my god for an Obama victory, but I am surely offended by this tin-pot bigot of a "pastor" invoking his god in the election. It's "Christians" like him who fuel the fears of Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Bhuddists, etc., whenever we hear this kind of nonsense. And, of course, it is he who diminishes his version of god when he opens his nouth and bleats this junk.

    Michael Blum, Seattle, Washington

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  25. Gambi

    What this mimister is implying is that Barack Obama is not a christian which is dead wrong. I hold the McCain campaign responsible for these incidents that just happen at these rallys. You guys are masters at manipulation and these lies and this hate and fear monguring is destructive to America.
    Vote Hope Not Hate
    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
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