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. Lucy

    This Wiccan prays to the Goddess every time I think of it for the right man to win. I know the right man is Barak Obama. Am I wrong for having a shred of respect left for McCain? How about if we still respect the separation of Church and State, Minister.

    October 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  2. kap in atlanta

    Jesus Christ and all he died for!!! This is what Christianity is about. All the spewing of anti this and anti that, no wonder those of non-christian beliefs mock us. To think so many of you sit in a pew on Sunday morning worshipping a God who told us to Love thy neighbor and you would love yourself and above all love one another. What part of this message did you not get. From the way you behave and speak one would think God is for "Whites Only". Oh, I forgot there is a group of sub-humans who believe that. They wore white sheets and hoods, and they too sat in Church on Sunday.

    October 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. Andrew

    I am so sick of this nonsense from McCain/Palin ect....
    They are deliberately fanning the flames or race and religion.
    I am not surprised that Palin abused her power as governor to settle a vendetta which was personal.
    Hate rallies, abuse of power equals fascism.

    October 11, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Republican for Obama

    WoW God help us all. I have never witness so much hate coming from one a campaign. How can these people call themselves Christians. Amazing!

    October 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  5. Angelica

    Ah! It angers me so much that politics and religion in the republican party seem to hand in hand. What happened to the separation of church and state?? Whenever religion is injected into politics it does nothing but diminish logic.
    Whatever your god is, you do not need to shove it down people's throats. If you don't believe in some laws then don't do them!! (ahem, abortion) but let the rest of the people make up their minds by themselves and deal with their beliefs on their own.

    October 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  6. Jordan

    As an evangelical Christian supporting Obama, this infuriates me. The greatest blow to Christianity's reputation has been their blind support of all republican candidates with little to no regard given to whether their actions in and out of congress 'match' the faith they routinely profess at election time.

    I understand the abortion issue hits close to many evangelicals, including myself, and I have a hard time taking the faith some someone who is 'Pro-Choice' seriously. However, I remain unconvinced that either candidate will touch the abortion issue while they are in office.

    While I understand there should be issues that religious leaders should speak out about from the pulpit, I cannot escape the thought that says Christianity's reputation is blemished when it attaches itself blindly to any side of a political debate.

    October 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  7. orp

    Senator McCain's campaign struggles to find a coherent message... A difficult task now that it has to contend with issuing statements about speakers the McCain operatives invite...a hefty task considering BOTH Palin and the Senator himself are a handful to manage!

    October 11, 2008 08:56 pm at 8:56 pm |
  8. liz, from MO

    This Minister is either totally misinformed or is partly propagating the agenda of sowing fear about Obama's religious background. He should have explained his reasons why he supports this opinion. I am tired of seeing the 'so called people of God' lying and advancing dubious agendas and by the way Lying is one of the 7 things that God hates most; so let them do away with sowing doubt before asking God for Obama's defeat.

    October 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  9. rebecca

    seriously? is this what our country has come to? i thought we were PROGRESSING not REGRESSING.

    October 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  10. Felix

    McCain's camping of hate and division is not going to work. We want unity in diversity, peace, progress and change. America, stand up and tell the ones that have been in office for eight years: enough is enough!

    OBAMA – BIDEN 08!

    October 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  11. Grant in Canada

    Excuse me what????

    "questions about the religious background of the candidates . . . "

    Pastor Conrad didn't say anything about the religious backgrounds of the candidates. He said that if Obama wins the U.S. election, GOD will be diminished . . . Christianity will be diminshed, in comparison to other religions. THAT'S what he said.

    I'm not particularly religious......but I'm pretty sure God can't be diminished by the result of an election (even an American one).

    So do the religious nuts on both sides cancel each other out for you folks or is one nut more "righteous" than another?

    ~shakes my head~

    October 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  12. Melissa

    Are these people flippin nuts or what??? The McCain campain, these Christian extremist only spread hate, fear and lies, because thats how they get into power. Because none of the have a brain in their heads. I think anyone who voted for Bush in the last election shouldn't be allowed to vote again because you are just as functionally retarted as he is.

    October 11, 2008 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  13. Sara

    Now it is perhaps clear just why our Founding Fathers wrote the separation of church and state into our Constitution – to prevent having a state sponsored or supported religion favored over other religions.

    October 11, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  14. jack

    wow! god loves everyone. barack praises god daily. i never hear mccain praising god.

    BO/JB 08

    October 11, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  15. keenekarl

    What a narrow-minded bigoted prayer that was!

    There are a lot of Christian Americans and foreigners who want Obama to win too!

    Americans and foreigners of all walks of faith have seen what 8 years of Bush/McCain government has produced – and that's the terrible mess we're in!

    For the health and well-being of everyone on this planet, John McCain and Sarah Palin must be rejected!

    October 11, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  16. Nancy

    This is sickening. A TRUE man of God would never distinguish between "your" God and "our God." I'd like to know the name please of this minister, and what denomination he is so I can write and complain about him. How dare he put down other religions of the world AND imply that Obama is not a Christian when he is. And John McCain sat there? McCain and the devil are hard to tell apart these days.

    October 11, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  17. Lana, Caifornia

    For pride, arrogance and blasphamy, God needs to smite these so called "christians" for daring to think God doesn't have a more important agenda than what these wackos want.

    Besides, What Would Jesus Do? These same people would call him a socialist and threaten to kill him also.

    Oh, wait....that's already been done.

    Women for Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  18. Zman

    People are starting to show their "true" colors at these events. McCain has stoked a fire that is starting to burn out of control, and I don't even think he can extinguish it.

    October 11, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  19. AJ

    What I saw at the MCCain/Palin rally this week is a reminder of when you have your back is againt the wall anything can happen.
    This is the same guy who says he rather loose a war than win an election. well what I saw this week was a guy who is desperate to win.
    Mccain did not put His country first this week...his ambition was first.
    I took Sarah Palin "advice" this week and connected the dots...she flat out said Obama is a terrorist and could not be trusted..he's "unamerican". someone need to call the kenyan pastor to chase those evil spirits off Palin's mind....she's definitely posseses right now. But I also would like to congratulate many Conservatives for condeming MCCain ans Palin for those kind of despicable tactics.
    Sorry Governor Palin those kind of changes and tactics today in America is a bridge to Nowhere.
    MCCain has nothing left but fear and smear.....Time is running out..change is up on us.

    October 11, 2008 09:00 pm at 9:00 pm |
  20. Paul

    This is ridiculous. Absolutely ridiculous.

    October 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  21. Wendy in NC

    McCain needs to put duct tape over Palin's mouth and apologize to the American people (who are guaranteed freedom of religion, btw) and he should apologize at the debate directly to Sen. Obama's face for his actions of the past two weeks. Absolutely despicable.

    October 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  22. Jordan

    pray the Obama away? fat chance

    October 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  23. Vic

    Early voting is the way to go.

    Registered Republican voted Obama/Biden 08

    October 11, 2008 09:01 pm at 9:01 pm |
  24. Mike from Tacoma

    Yikes... That "Our Religion is better than Your Religion" philosopy is the cause of way too many trageties in the history of mankind. This nonsense must stop!

    Freedom Of or From Religion!

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  25. jd, columbus, oh

    This doesn't even deserve a response it's so ridiculous.... but for the record, I'd be willing to bet there are more Christians voting this year for Obama than for McCain (Obama will win by a landslide and most will be Christians).

    I am a Christian, a proud Democrat, and I am voting for OBAMA!!

    October 11, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
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