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. Andrew

    How stupid, it's ministers like this that make Christians world-wide look like idiots! I'm a Christian and an Obama supporter and as far as I know none of my non-Christian friends are praying that Obama will win.

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  2. ty

    what is this all about, is this man nuts, Obama will win he is a christians

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  3. salem

    GOP is the party of new fascism and hate. this is a remarkable time where we are seeing a political party being hijacked by extremist violent mobs who want to harm a presidential canddate.

    It is shocking that mccain has let palin completely take over-he has been stripped of power and integrity. This group is DANGEROUS -next we will hear about media people and minorities being beaten and abused at the lynch mob rallies.

    mccain has lost his mind.....and his support. Only the extremist haters are left, and they will stop at nothing to win. Look out America, here comes the lockstep intimidators.

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  4. Janet

    I'm sorry McCain, but your campaign is inciting division and hate in this country like I haven't seen, even in the Bush campaign. And, let me tell you, I am a 68 year old white woman who has been praying for some time for Obama to win and turn this country around.

    McCain and followers are only fooling themselves in believing they are the only Christians who are right. I am a Christian and I am appalled at the hate being spewed in the McCain campaign. They have been doing it for so long now, they don't even recognize how outrageous they have become! And very unChristianlike and unGodly in their behavior and campaign..

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  5. J Gaston

    This sickens me. It's the 21st century and we're still seeing this level of ignorance in our society AND it's being tolerated by those who would be our leaders. THIS is the kind of stuff that makes me loose faith in my fellow man.

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  6. Nee

    Praying for the opposite should tell this pastor that his god may not be true... I question his motives and belief.

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  7. North Carolina for Obama

    It is ignorance like this that has gotten us in to the mess that we are in now. God have mercy on these so called pastors whose hearts are filled with hate and hypocrisy! Barack Obama is a good human being trying to help get his country turned around.God Bless You and your family soon to be President Obama and God Bless America!

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  8. NC Mom

    Disgraceful....even the McCain campaign response is disgraceful, and doesn't properly address the outrageous comments.

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

    These crazy McLame supporters will say ANYTHING to distract people from the issues and put FEAR into peoples minds about Obama. They are desperate and out of options, they have no policy or solutions for the economy so they turn to these tactics. Its shameful, but what's more shameful and sad is that there are people that will fall for that garbage. Sad.

    Obama '08/'12

    October 11, 2008 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  10. MARI

    Another McCain follower who thinks we are all stupid. I find this very offensive, insulting & not at all thought out. Sen. McCain insulted us with Palin, now he unleashes his "holy ones" to lead us in prayer.
    That's a prayer to "God" to do what????
    After today I no longer watch the candidates in the public arena, too much discourse, hatred , fear and deceit. I will vote for Obama & Biden, at least there are intellicects there as well as thought processes .

    After watching Sen. McCain & his audience plants, following the hate mongering this week, I owe myself the peace of mind.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  11. Obama 08

    How can this be when Obama's a Christian? I'm Catholic and I want him to win. Catholic and Christian is the same thing. It's like throwing crap to a wall and hoping it'll stick.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  12. fastlegs

    This is crazy, I guess if you are not a republican you are not a christian what else are they going to say at Senator McCains realy. I have witness four presidental election since I have been in this country but nothing like what is coming out from that camp.

    I tell you America I am scare with all this anger and bitterness been stirred up especially by govenor Palin everytime she open her mouth nothing uplifting comes out only provocative word only.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  13. Dee

    I wonder if the minister ever thought about the fact that people around the world may be praying that Obama gets elected because he has demonstrated a sincere desire for world peace and regaining our respect among other countries. I would like to hear McCain rebuke these remarks, not his campaign.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  14. Linda

    One very important thing.........everyone is saying that when Palin didn't get certain books banned, that was a plus........everyone ignores the fact that she fired the librarian who was only rehired after Palin was put under pressure to do so.

    Hey.............I'm a Christian and I want Obama to win. If you think for one minute God would approve of the crap that's going on now and the way things are being incited............GUESS AGAIN. I sure don't want to sit anywhere near this person in a lightning storm!

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  15. False Prophets

    Not everyone who claims to speak for God actually does.

    Matthew 7: 21 "Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. 22Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!'

    The Bible repeatedly warns against false prophets. After Nebuchadnezzar destroyed Jerusalem, Jeremiah wailed,

    Lamentations 2:14 The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.

    Ezekiel railed the spin masters of his day, who covered up for the politicians.

    Ezekiel 22: 27 Her officials within her are like wolves tearing their prey; they shed blood and kill people to make unjust gain. 28 Her prophets whitewash these deeds for them by false visions and lying divinations. They say, 'This is what the Sovereign LORD says'_when the LORD has not spoken.

    Jesus was very concerned about false prophets:

    Mt 7:15 Jesus said to his disciples: "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing,but underneath are ravenous wolves.

    Matthew 24: 4 Jesus answered: "Watch out that no one deceives you. 5For many will come in my name, claiming, 'I am the Christ, and will deceive many. 10At that time many will turn away from the faith and will betray and hate each other, 11and many false prophets will appear and deceive many people.

    How do we tell who is a false prophet? Jesus tells us to look at the fruit:

    Matthew 7: 16-20 By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thorn bushes, or figs from thistles? Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire. So by their fruits you will know them."

    Luke 6:26 Woe to you when all men speak well of you, for that is how their fathers treated the false prophets.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  16. denni

    What a disgrace these so called "true" Christians are.
    I am appalled by how this election has descended into such dirty religious politics. It just proves we dont want McCain in the White House because his racists right wing religious neo-cons will continue to annihilate any credibility America has left under Bush. We need Obama not just because he is a highly intelligent Statesman but because he stands for peace not only in America but around the world. YES!..... Lets hope people of all religions, race and creeds are hoping to God Barack Obama wins on Nov 4.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  17. Georgia Gal

    And another thing ... have we ever even heard McCain say anything about his faith or religion?? I think Obama talks about his faith and religion much more (and thank goodness he quit the church Reverand Wright was at). Atleast I know I've heard him talk about it and I am pretty sure I've never heard McCain mention it.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  18. Gloria

    This minister is not a man of God.
    His intent is evil.
    Like it or not, we, as Americans, are supposed to have tolerance for others religion and cultures. This minister actions are very disturbing and wrong. His prayer is not Christian,it is hateful and mean. He should be thrown out of his position as head of his church. God preaches love. And, God can take care of his own reputation. He doesn't need any help.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  19. RJ

    Unbelievable. Now McCain wants to project his campaign as a war between religions in the world, Christians vs Hindus, Buddhists and Muslims? He is gone mental and his rallies are now totally klan meetings. Being a white and religious person, I am offended that these idiots are bringing bad name to all of us in their blind pursuit for power. Obama/Biden is for me.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  20. ObamaGirl08

    Notice that McCain leaves the door open to the myth that Obama is a Muslim... "religious background of the candidates." McCain has become a sleazeball and seems to be losing his grip on reality. I hope that Americans won't be fooled... again.

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  21. R.

    Wow, hate is alive and well in america. these so called christians are no more tolerant than the taliban, and just as dangerous

    October 11, 2008 09:55 pm at 9:55 pm |
  22. Melanie

    Okay, I am a Christian and I pray to God that Obama does indeed win. So, does that mean that if Obama wins the election that God answered my prayers or God ignored my prayers and the other gods answered their followers prayers?

    Arnold Conrad, you don't know the first thing about being a Christian!

    October 11, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  23. keke

    I love Democracy. It gives the people a voice, and therefore power. Unfortunately Democracy is not perfect. Lunatics, like the lady who called Obama an Arab as if it were the plague, are allowed to pick our leaders. This gives credence to autocracy.

    October 11, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  24. Amy

    I have news for Pastor Conrad-many Christians are praying for Senator Obama to win. I believe, because He is an awesome God, He will hear our prayers and bless our nation with President Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  25. Edward Witt

    When John McCain said the "fundamentals of the economy
    were sound," he should have said that the fundamentalists are
    a strong influence in his erratic campaign.

    October 11, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
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