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. No Hillary = No Obama

    Obama is being made so important. He's a senator with hardly any legistative accomplishments who seized upon a failed Bush Presidency and sang a chant of change. All of a sudden he's a threat. He's being given more power because of narrow-minded and bigoted thinking.

    October 11, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  2. Geoff in CT

    This is really pretty disgusting stuff the Repubs are bringing out and then - after the message has permeated the airwaves - saying "oh, we really didn't mean THAT".

    October 11, 2008 10:21 pm at 10:21 pm |
  3. UBh8sPalin

    I'm a catholic 4 Obama. I don't think religion is or should be political.

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  4. Nija

    If Jesus were here today on earth as human a lot of Pastors will ask for his head.

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  5. Sylvia

    The Reverend Conrad needs to get a more biblical perspective on God. I don't think he needs to tell God to guard his [God's] own reputation. He needs to pray that God's will be done and have more faith in God. He's definitely in need of some biblical educating.

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  6. Perusing-through


    And did not that prayer backfire against the Evangelical and GOP RNC where hurricane Gustav washed out the first day of RNC activities.

    GOD Bless the United States of America!
    GOD Bless the Obama-Biden Leadership Team!

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  7. Tracy

    Each day the Republican party's primary base is exposed to the American people (and the world) and what we see is very unsettling. It makes me wonder if there is any true leadership anywhere in DC – why aren't there more Republicans and Democrats speaking out about how these campaigns are operating. Just because the focus is on electing a new President does not leave any Dem or Repub safe from being booted out. Being quiet is being a coward in my book which makes you no better than the hate mongers spewing the ugliness in both campaigns. Shame on you!!

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  8. Timothy

    I love the way the Republicans try to tear down Obama for being named by his parents. He is a Christian and has been for well over 20 years. Let's stick to the issues. I don't care about race, religion, or anything else the Constitution says we are free to believe in. Lets stick to the issues please. The economy, energy, the war, education. HELLO does this sound familiar.

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  9. Edward

    I am a christian and I want obama to win.

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  10. Michigan Independent

    I attended an Obama/Biden rally in Detroit a couple of weeks ago...the rally was opened with many speakers including the new mayor of Detroit...and three members of faith...Christian, Jewish and Muslim...it was a beautiful moment when all three faiths at the conclusion of their words held hands in unity...it was a very touching and proud moment for the over 30,000 people in attendance....quite a contract from the article above at a McCain/Palin rally.....

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  11. lady

    first of all i dont know what kind of minister you are but i think we all have one god. i am a baptist and i serve god a good god. so i dont know where you get to preach to people the wrong thing preach the word thats in the bible not hate , people should pray for you and mccain and palin.

    October 11, 2008 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |

    I am beginning to believe that the McCain camp is fomenting this anger we see at his rallies. I believe they do so then McCain tries to look clean by saying dont do it.

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  13. Frank, Dayton, Ohio

    Score three for McCain for doing the right thing.

    As for the minister offering the prayer: why can't he let God be God? His Will will be done no matter what.

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  14. Not all Christians Agree with You

    I am a Christan and I am PRAYING FOR AN OBAMA WIN IN NOVEMBER!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  15. Hars Happenstance

    For the last time, Obama is a Christian. Not that it should matter in a country ostensibly devoted to the separation of church and state.

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

    If this Minister had a genuine heart after God, he would be praying for God's will.

    The "saints that aint" are a trip!

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  17. Obama 2008

    It's ashamed that in this day and time we still have people that think that way. They can't find anything to pin on Obama so they use all of the Muslim and Terrorists scare tatics to disencourage people for voting for Obama.

    Why can't those people just admit they are racists and get it over with. Stop coming up with all of these non-sense reasons or charges against Obama. You can plainly see by the polls that it's not doing any good. As a matter of fact, it's actually creating the opposite effect. So, just keep showing your ignorance. Thank you very much!!

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  18. 17 year old future politician

    Shameful, as a christian, I believe God will shed his grace on the people, and bless those who believe in him, rendering us more powerful than those who oppose us, regardless of whose president. He has crossed the line with those remarks, this from a pastor...shameful

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  19. Zach K

    Pure Ignorance. That's all I can say. McCain's light of winning is fading away, in fact Obama is 6 votes projected away from wrapping this up.

    McCain's supporters need to stop being ignorant, and bitter, and look foreward to something that will NOT screw our country over for the next 8 Years.

    Obama/Biden 2008. Almost @ 270.

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  20. seamar

    I am an Evangelical, emerging Church variety (not emergent), supporting Sen. Obama/Biden.

    #1...who do those Christians think non-Christians would be praying to that could help them or respond to their prayers? If they are praying to false gods then what's the worry?

    #2-As Christians all of our prayers should acknowledge God's absolute sovereignty with "Your will be done" as Jesus commanded us to do in the Lord's prayer.

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  21. Steve

    In the Bible Cain is the first murderer because he killed his Abel brother, and Cain is sometimes seen as a progenitor of evil. Just a thought for those of you who consider yourselves Christians. You may want to rethink what you have gotten yourselves into. Do the words turn the other cheek, thou shalt not kill, it is easier for a camel to squeeze through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to get into the kingdom of God ring a bell? Do you remember anyone who chased the money lenders from the temple? Do you remember anyone who warned you against having false idols? You may like your McMansion, you may like your McLife, but do you really want to support your McCain?

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  22. Wes

    Republicans and these so called preachers are really at an all time low. They are like poisonous snakes spewing out their venomous lies and hate. Bush was great at scaring people with lies to get us in a war and these people are trying to scare people into thinking that our next president is a terrorist. These people are really low. Nothing Christ like about them. All McCain has left is lies.

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  23. xrobx

    wow. just when you think they can't stoop any lower they pull something like this. now it's my duty as a christian to vote for mccain, or people might start thinking their god is better than mine!!! not going to work. not this time. obama/biden 08

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  24. Pat

    True Christians know that God does not "take sides". These people are definitely true Christians. They are just activists, and dangerous ones at that.

    October 11, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. Bea

    Non-Christians....No weapon formed against Barack Obama shall prosper . SO is this person trying to say that only christians are important? some people are crazy....Thank you Lord Jesus of Nazarath for Barack Obama's victory. Amen.

    October 11, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
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