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. Mrs. Texas Teacher

    Sounds like the beginnings of a witch hunt. It is near unbelievable, except that we have been watching this happening. Not just McCain's attack on Obama, but the whole injustice of everything related to this administration. We see now the mentality of these republicans in power now.... these fear mongers... nothing is too low for them to stoop to.

    I'm ashamed of these Americans who are following this man... and I'm ashamed for the world to see that this is how the free world acts... for so long we have fought to get away from the image of the ugly American.. and now they are proving that there are those among us who deserve that title. .... and they are running for the highest offices in the land.

    But worse of all this ugliness is what we are teaching our children about freedom and fairness in the United States of America. The children who are the future of this country, as a teacher I'm appalled...

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  2. Republican For Obama

    The pastor is right-many of us are sick of delusional Christians trying to fuse church and state. Keep your beliefs to yourself. The majority of you aren't acting like Christians at all–Palin for example–If there is a God he is not on the side of fear, hatred and anger. He is on the side of tolerance and non-judgment.

    The first will be last and the last will be first. Time for your crew to sit out a couple of plays.

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  3. Fernando Yessenia


    When are we going to end the practice of Wahabbi Christianity in the USA and stop letting the Christian Taliban pretend that they are the sole source of morality in this pluralistic society of ours?

    Say no to radical Christian extremism!

    October 11, 2008 10:27 pm at 10:27 pm |
  4. jon151

    these Mccain rallys have become like KKK bonfires.

    October 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  5. JA in columbus

    Wow, these right wing nut jobs just won't stop. They have driven me from the republican party.

    October 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  6. James Derek Dwyer

    Where do they find these religious hicks? Have these people ever even left their hometown?

    What pathetic bunch of narrow minded bigots.

    October 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  7. clmw

    There are millions of people praying to Jesus Christ for deliverance from the economic crisis brought on by years of deregulation. Christ is the Prince of Peace and would never "bomb bomb bomb, bomb bomb Iran." He sacrificed Himself in the name of PEACE, not so that He can be crucified over and over again by morons purporting to act in His name. There is a very big difference between religious behavior and righteous behavior, and this sort of partisan spewing is definitely not righteous.

    October 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  8. javone77

    I am completely appalled at the people that are making headlines at mccain rallies these days. I am a christian woman and I pray that obama becomes president and I serve God and His son Jesus christ, not allah or anyone else! God has to protect his reputation?!?!? are you serious?!?!?!?

    October 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  9. cnn viewer

    Under educated ministers like these are the ones that end up being prosecuted for abusing innocent Christian children.

    October 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  10. Lisa S.

    I am a Christian and I pray to God that Barack Obama will win and bring back civility, diplomacy, courage and intelligent discourse. I am often repulsed by the so-called "Christians"' and their hate mongering, racism and corruption. McCain and Palin's recent campaign tactics go beyond the pale and I have no respect left for Mr. McCain, who I never had planned to vote for but I at least thought highly of him. No longer.

    October 11, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. Al

    I'm a minster who is apart of the body of the church of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. I'm an Obama supporter. The problem with that statement is that person believes, that the kingdom of this world has something to do with the kingdom of God. They should never be viewed as the same place. Jesus say that his kingdom was not of this world, so who we elected here in America is not going to overthrow God's throne or change who God is. One of our mandate as believers in Christ is to pray for our leaders whoever they may be. Any other response is not of Christ.

    October 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  12. Seth

    McCain is has either lost all control over his campaign and is a puppet, or he has lost every ounce of dignity and respect he ever had.

    October 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  13. 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 contrast from the article above at a McCain/Palin rally…..

    October 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  14. David

    What is going on with these bone head christian wanna be's? Aren't we all the children of ONE GOD? Why in the name of Jesus would someone have such a narrow minded prayer? There is no my God vs their God, There is just ONE GOD. God is not a Christian or Muslim or Jew or Hindu or Pagan for that matter, God is beyond that. God the almighty is the Omni-potent, Omni-present. I am very disappointed some ignorant individuals make my religion sound stupid.

    October 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  15. dlnagalla

    For few weeks there, I thought I saw a true change in America towards a stronger civil rights society. An African American winning in this election opens a new era of possibilities and I am just realizing Obama progress in polls is probably misleading. While 9/11 and Bush Administration changed globally no just America, how people are living and what we lost in terms of global freedom; An Obama win, I thought could have an opposite positive effect in America and finally an unimaginable opportunity to put an end to racial division and open up new possibilities that can bury the racial ignorance for ever. Its amazing how this white house race will change now. McCain Palin duo successfully started a new era that is going to open up unhealed wounds of racial hatred erasing all the hard work done by great leaders over centuries, just to win the white house. McCain choosing Palin is a game changer for sure not just for McCain campaign but also for our way of life. She is seeding racial hatred in these rallies pushing this country back into chaos and hate filled environment. John Lewis is absolutely right. I sincerely wish McCain and Palin realize what they are doing to this country. If George Bush broke the economic back bone of this nation, McPalin are going to destroy the carefully woven civil rights fabric. I just hope media realizes this and help educate these ignorant Americans.

    October 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  16. Rose Snow

    This is so sad I'am one of the older generation and to hear a pastor talk like this makes me very upset ! to hear a man of god judgeing this man .I am sure glad i dont belong to his church.

    October 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  17. Christian S.

    Let me add...

    Good luck to Obama/Biden and all the dems running for open seats in Congress. Finally in sight, good for all americans regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or religion.

    October 11, 2008 10:29 pm at 10:29 pm |
  18. Frances

    What happened last time conservatives prayed for rain?

    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  19. Preston

    My guess is that most intelligent people of faith – whatever faith – favor Obama.

    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  20. Joseph Granata

    As a Christian I am offended and appalled at this. This remark by a pastor is not what this campaign should be about. McCain needs to immediately repudiate this remark in person and not send his campaign to do it for him.

    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  21. Edwin, Fayetteville, NC

    And this guy calls himself a minister? he sounds worse then Rev. Wright.

    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  22. democrat in az

    and he calls himself a Christian. BULL!!!!


    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  23. joe hollins

    why do people bring God into this election,
    God is not the God of any political Party, Render uto Ceasar the thing of Ceasar and render unto God the things Of God, How can you Pray to God out of the same Mouth and Heart that you spout out hate and discontent, God is not marked, with the Real Children of God Stand UP

    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  24. Ronnie

    Arnold Conrad is a moron.It is so called Christians like him that will not get into Heaven in the first place.Republicians in general will not be in Heaven which will make it alot better.

    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
  25. Dante

    This is an absolute disgrace. This man is a blasphemer–an abomination in the eyes of God. He's going to burn in Hell for exploiting God in such a vile manner.

    October 11, 2008 10:30 pm at 10:30 pm |
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