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. I am voting for "That one"

    Here we go again onother one of Jhon McShame Klansman preahing hate, why don't the just came dressed up for the occasion in their traditional white hooded outfit,

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  2. tlhwraith

    and craziness ensues.

    Really? Is this where we are as a nation? Seriously?

    So because the guy has a "funny" sounding surname and he's brown suddenly he's too "exotic" and only the other brown skinned funny named people could support him or "gasp" pray for him?

    Seems like this pastor fellow needs to take a hard look around at his countrymen. It may surprise him to learn that there are many of us (soon to be the majority in fact) who are not all white and some of us even have the audacity of having non anglo surnames. Believe it or not, some of us even pray to the same guy this hypocrite says he prays to.

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  3. former gop

    If Jesus came back and saw what was going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up. That is a Woody Allen line and I believe it is funny and quite accurate.

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  4. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Some time some how the U.S. is going to have to get their heads around the fanatical extremists that promote one person's God over another person's God.

    This pretty much defines just how scary Palin's statement that the invasion of Iraq was God's will. The last thing this world needs are religious wars over what already exists.

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  5. Ray

    This is so wrong at so many levels, I don't even know where to start. It's faith-baiting. I'm a Christian, and I fully and totally reject this craziness.

    Note that in the campaign's "response", they didn't really repudiate the irresponsible and inappropriate remarks. Instead of just calling it out for the garbage it was, they even had the gall to turn it around into a criticism of Obama's readiness to lead. Nothing leaves their mouths without some venom attached.

    It just gets worse every day. Nov 4, please don't be late this year.

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  6. Albert

    Thats how gullible people are.. I bet that people in that crowd actually believed that... Mcain. Americans are not stupid..

    Obama Biden 08

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  7. vee

    That minister should be ashamed of himself he's suppose to be a man of GOD and he is spewing this HATRED. So much for separation of Church and Politics. NOW I DEMAND THE MCCAIN REPUDIATE THE MINISTER'S COMMENT and whiles he at it repudiate ALL of Palin's hatemongering comments she made this past week, repudiate the florida COPS comment, repudiate the person's comment that shouted "KILL HIM" at one of Palin's recent rallies, repudiate the person's comment the shouted TRAITOR< TREASON and ALL the digusting comments that are coming out of the McCain/Palin Rallies. Then and only then should Mr. Obama repudiate John Lewis comment.

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  8. Patrick

    Ahhh, another whacked out bible-thumper spewing their hatred for other people and other religions. This is precisely why religion has no place in politics and why Christians are misguided little children that prey on the insecurities and guilt of their own people.
    It's quite obvious that Christians hold themselves above all other religions and feel that they are superior in their beliefs.
    I could go on for hours and list a litany of reasons why Christians are so blind to the facts and how they hide behind their religion only when it benefits or suits them. Grow up, there is no talking snake, immaculate conception, nobody has risen from the dead, and God doesn't hear your prayers or perform miracles.
    Why not treat your fellow man with respect and kindness no matter their race, color, religion, or sexual orientation.
    Vote Obama/Biden, not McSame/Fraudlin

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  9. Sgt RayRay

    This goes to show that ignorance has no limits. The most shameful thing about this whole thing is that this guy is a supposed pastor….you sir bring shame on yourself and your church and should repent and beg God for his forgiveness. There are millions of Christians here that are going to Vote for Obama on the 4th and God helps us educate our ignorant like pastor Arnold Conrad because these types of people make our country week and we are only as strong as our weakest link.

    BTW….”Pastor”, if you like living in a government run by religion maybe you should move to the Middle East and see how that works for you.

    God Bless America… HUAA!!!!….Obama/Biden08

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  10. Will

    What's next? Are American citizens this gullible? It reminds me of an old bumpersticker that read " fundamentalism stos a thinking mind."

    October 11, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  11. Matt, Las Vegas

    Using God to devide people, I'm sure God approves of that. Wait let me guess, this is the same God that put that idiot Bush in office not just once, but twice?

    Republicans are mad that they are in this spot, but they need to look in the mirror. They have no one to blame but themselves for electing a guy like Bush that has destroyed our country over 8 long years. When you elect a criminal like Bush, you deserve some pay back.

    Republicans just don't understand that America is sick of their bag of tricks. It gets us Record deficits, a broken economy, healthcare premiums that raise 20% per year, doubled gas prices, 2 on-going wars that have no end in sight yet, illegal wiretaps, loss of constitutional rights, gutting of 30 years of environmental legislation, illegal firings of US Attourneys based on their political affiliation, on and on and on this list goes. The American people should be embarased by the last 8 years, instead 40% are still going to vote for McCain.

    October 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  12. John Dinwiddie

    Well, of course. What they don't realize
    is that Obama is a meow beast from Mars.

    But now that I've said it, it is bound to
    become reality. McCain is learning a lesson
    that most wise people know in advance
    of temptation. A mob once turned on cannot
    be turned off. Dr. Frankenstein gets stuck
    with his own creation. So much poetic
    justice, except for one thing.

    All of this, writ large, is terrifying. The U.S.
    is already in a vicious, divisive cold civil
    war. Lucky us, born into interesting times.

    October 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  13. Donovan

    The minister appears to think that God actually is insecure about how he/she is thought of by all of us here on Earth. On a different, but related note, the minister also has missed the millions of Christians around the world, and among America's voting population, who favor Obama.

    October 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  14. Amy

    Why can't our religious leaders explain their views and trust us to make the right decision on our own? The only answer I can think of for that question is their own faith must not be strong enough.

    There is a reason that we have a separation between Church and State.

    October 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  15. Bill

    What Ms. Riemann really minds is they understand how important faith is to their Christian base, so they are going to use that faith against people by having them think Obama is a muslim. How sad. Hey John, got anything to say about the economy yet, or are you still stuck on Bill Ayers?

    October 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  16. MBFLA

    I imagine a lot of real Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Agnostics, etc and other Americans of all persuasions will be voting for Barack Obama and Joe Biden between now and Nov 4. It's not about religion, it's about what is best for the USA and that is Obama/Biden rather than the haters in 2008.

    October 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  17. Angie

    I am a Hindu and I am totally offended by this priest. Then the republicans have the gall to bring up Jeremiah Wright. Talk about hypocricy. I used to like McCain and supported him in 2000. Now, I will never vote for him. He is an opportunistic person whose sole ambition is to become president of this country. I can not trust a person who changes his color so drastically.

    October 11, 2008 10:15 pm at 10:15 pm |
  18. Debbie

    So let's not hear anything more about Rev. Wright then eh? This guy sounds like a nutcase too,.

    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  19. B Conway

    It is inconcionable that while our country is in the midst of a crisis, the Palin feels it necessary to drive further and further division into our troubled nation. It is sad that so many people cannot see through these hateful rabbel rousing speaches. Make no mistake, she knows exactly what she is doing, placing the McCain campaign before country. Senator McCain used to have a sense of honor and patriotism but that appears to be as historical as his war record.
    Should anything unfortunate happen to Senator Obama's well being after he is elected, it would not be surprising to find it was inspired by the fearful distortions the Palin so eloquently bestowed upon her small minded base. Should such a God awful thing happen to a great man and an already troubled country, the blood would be on the Palin's hands.
    A former republican

    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  20. McCainLostMyVote

    McCain – you and Palin will be defeated in this election. You are rotten people like this pastor. I pray for your defeat for sure. So much hate from McCain's campaign. Sad.

    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. Greendad

    LOL Hindu? That's not a god and
    Buddha was not a god and you don't pray to him.

    Wow and let ignorance reign.

    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. It is Obama-Biden in 2008 and 2012

    No weapon forged against you [ Barack Obama] will prevail, and you [ Barack Obama] will refute every tongue that accuses you [ Barack Obama] . This is the heritage of the servants [ Barack Obama] of the LORD, and this is their [ Barack Obama] vindication from me," declares the LORD. – Isaiah 54:17

    " I [ God ] will send my terror ahead of you [ Barack Obama] and throw into confusion every nation you [ Barack Obama] encounter. I [ God ] will make all your [ Barack Obama] enemies turn their backs and run." – Exodus 23:27

    The Lord will rescue me [ Barack Obama] from every evil attack and will bring me [ Barack Obama] safely to his heavenly kingdom. – 2 Timothy 4:18

    11 For he will command his angels concerning you [ Barack Obama] to guard you [ Barack Obama ] in all your ways; 12 they will lift you [ Barack Obama ] up in their hands, so that you [ Barack Obama ] will not strike your [his] foot against a stone. 13 You [ Barack Obama ] will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you [ Barack Obama ] will trample the great lion and the serpent. – Psalm 91:11-13

    I have given you [ Barack Obama ] authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you [ Barack Obama ]. – Luke 10:19

    It's time for the American people to get it right and NOT vote for McCain-Palin, instead vote for change. It's time for this country to turn the page and seek a new and better future for ourselves and our children.It's time for REAL change in Washington, it's time to elect Barack Obama for president !

    Obama-Biden are the wiser and stronger team to solve the crucial challenges we have in this nation and abroad !


    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. tommy

    I am so disgusted by these fake Christian preachers, I am praying for my country, but displays like this are making me lose faith.

    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  24. Jesus was a liberal!

    Just another example of how the religious right can be so very wrong.

    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  25. KJL

    McCain is collecting more nuts than a squirrel, and he's using Palin for bait. What a pair.

    October 11, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
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