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. Tim

    How utterly absurd. God must "protect his own reputation" if Obama wins. Let me get this straight. The "all powerful" being (or whatever) presumably has the power to stop Obama from winning; else, why pray for it? And if this being does not have such power, then said being is supposed to somehow be powerful enough to protect a reputation? A reputation for what? For not being powerful enough to stop Obama from winning? And don't tell me it would be a matter of "God's will" that Obama win, because why should God wait until after that to fix the problem when God should be able to fix the problem before it happens? Really, is there a bit of logic in this?

    October 11, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  2. Gods Son

    Well, I hope they remember what happened the last time they prayed for rain on "That One's" acceptance speech. Oh they got rain alright, only it was at their party. I wonder they were expecting that one.

    "Do on to others" my Christian brothers and sisters. I think God has this one right...At least that's what I'm praying for.

    October 11, 2008 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  3. John, US Army Veteran

    Are you freaking kidding me? Yeah right, McCain is calling off the dogs!
    I cannot believe how low the RNC will go to win on National Level campaigns. Wow. Even Richard Nixon never went down this path.

    October 11, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  4. James Richmonds

    Whats been transpiring at McCain's rallies is deplorable to say the least. If McCain is an honest man, he should spend a good amount of time educating his supporters about the America he envisions. He should categorically state that he does not welcome support from the kind of ignorant morons who have been insulting Obama. McCain himself knows who real Obama is–the next President of the USA. For argument's sake lets say Obama had never met Bill Ayers. What else would McCain be saying to the American people about Obama's character?? McCain, you know Obama is not all of those things your dear supporters are calling him. Show some real leadership by denouncing your supporters are saying about Obama. Come Nov 4, McCain is gonna realize there are not enough of such fools in America to stop Obama from getting into the White house.

    October 11, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  5. Joshua College Station Texas

    Yeah, this election is about Christians vs. non-Christians. Right.

    Unfortunately, for many folks, this is completely true. It's so sad.

    I have never understood why the noble teachings of Christianity get translated into acts of incredible intolerance and even violence. And this man's speech–it's like the Crusades all over again. What does he want, a Christian jihad? What a hypocrite.

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  6. Karl Clark

    I am a Christian who believes whole-heartedly that Jesus the Christ died for me and my sins. I know that I am not worthing of his sacrifice for me. This Christian is praying for the health and welfare of both candidates. But do not believe any doubt of my conviction... I want Sen Barack Obama to ascend to the Presidency of the United States. There are many that mirror my belief and pry for Sen. Obama. Again, the McCain camp is totally wrong.

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  7. plb

    McSame and Pitdog Palin have incited something that is much bigger than the both of them. I am not a so called Christian for this reason, but I do beleive in something bigger and better (spirtiually) than all humans. That something will hand down his/her judgement against these hatemongers on November 4th. I will wake up smiling from ear to ear on November 5th. Confident that my candidates of choice did the right thing by staying focused on my needs and the needs of the American people, and not letting the racial ignorance in this country bring back the memories of the 60s.

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  8. Phil from a Typically "Red State"

    I am a Christian, I pray to one God, and Barack Obama is not Him.

    That said, I am praying FOR an Obama win, because I think it is a travesty that Republicans work such a mindjob on people wanting to be "good Christians" while every policy aside from that of being anti-abortion goes against the Gospel I've been raised on.

    Republicans in general, and McCain in particular, have lost my confidence and my vote because of this, and because their oath is not "Country First," it's "Winning First. Winning Only. Winning at all costs."

    Don't be fooled by these tactics.

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  9. Aubie AZ

    This is pathetic – Guess what! I am Christian and I am praying Obama wins. It almost seems like the religious right want a holy war – my god is better than you god. Pathetic!

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  10. jm

    i can't believe that the pastor can speak all that,so he thinks is the only who knows the real god.never judge others pastor leave to GOD.
    obama is christian and will be the next president of united states.
    God bless obama,0bama/biden 08

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  11. carol mcfarlane

    I haven't even bothered to read the article, but the heading is enough.

    To say that non-Christians want an Obama win is JUST the thing that American can do without – the negative and divisive sentiment.

    I AM a Christian and I DO WANT an Obama win.

    How dare they, how dare you, whoever you are, call yourself a minister. Shame on all such individuals.

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  12. Brian

    It's sad that people think this way, since Brack Obama is himself a Christian. He proved himself on that ground far above McCain in the interviews that were conducted a few months ago in Southern California where Evangelical Christian Pastor Rick Warren interviewed both candidates with the exact same questions. Barack was 10 times as thoughtful and sincere as McCain. He stated his beliefs logically, eloquently, and sincerely – Evangelicals should have taken note.

    I'm a political conservative, and am opposed to the Obama platform; I don't think he has the right fixes for the problems. But the notion that Obama is not on the "same team", as it were, regarding religion, is completely false.

    However, CNN... don't you think there are some pretty angry people on the Obama side too at the rallies... come on. Are the people who introduce Obama at his rallies not making false statements, and going beyond what Obama himself would say? Cover it all.

    October 11, 2008 10:37 pm at 10:37 pm |
  13. Brian L

    This is really reprehensible and frankly un-American. The founding fathers, who were in general far more pious than modern Americans, had the wisdom to see the dangers of government being used as an instrument of God- any God. Church leaders have no business interfering or influencing this or any election- it could not be more un-American! Churches that preach politics from the pulpit should be stripped of their tax-exempt status!

    In any case, don't be fooled into thinking John McCain and Sarah Palin will overturn Roe v. Wade. That is not the prerogative of the executive branch- only the Supreme Court can overturn its own ruling and then only if it is challenged first in the lower courts.

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  14. Pat_Pinehurst NC

    1. Where did McCain find such a devisive minister to contribute to the hatefulness of his devisive campaign?

    2.The minister should not claim to be a Christian if he doesn't think or act like one. Jesus taught Christians to love their neighbors as themselves. St. Paul taught that there is neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free etc. and that we are all one. Isn't that what the minister should be reminding all of us?

    3. There is only one God no matter what name or language one has been taught to use. The Arabs, Jews and Christians are all of Abraham's lineage. Isn't time we all live the peace that we preach. . . together in fellowship and patience without judging each other?

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  15. Chris K

    This is absolutely repugnant regardless of which religion, if any, you practice! Just when you think that the McCain campaign has reached rock bottom you watch incredulously as they burrow deeper! Pathetic... just pathetic!

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  16. Eugene

    Sorry but that isn't quite a strong enough rebuke.

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  17. CM

    McCain seems to be heading towards his own pastor problem.

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  18. rachae

    That is so sad and polorizing.

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  19. Marylou

    EVERYONE around the world is praying for an OBAMA win. George Bush has ruined the good name of the United States of America worldwide. barack Obama is a good Christian man, good family man, and will be a great President, bringing back to America the respect we have lost over the last 8 years. Americans need to stop listening to FAUX news..and paying attention to the facts.

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |


    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  21. Chris

    WOW !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are we in 2008-2009?

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  22. m.e.

    I'm a Christian who is praying that Obama wins. I pray that God will let OBama end this war and keep us from starting another war with Iran (as McCain, Bush and Cheney are itching to do). So, how do you know God is on your side?

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  23. John McCain

    I forgot. The woman SAID that Obama is arab, not asking. McCain said, that "no maam, he is a decent family man". Does this suggest that even if smeone is arab, can not be a decent family man????
    Clear it up for me Johhny papa!

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  24. dede-ole

    it is a sad affair that we have a minister of the Gospel diminishing the lest of the world as unchrist like.billions around the world are christians. the bush/mccain policies is what is the problem. let us be real and seperate doctrines from politics.we are all Gods children.love of God and neighbour should raise above everything.

    October 11, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  25. Don

    This is truly a disgusting commentary on our society today that a pastor would ask God to not let Obama be elected president. Obama is a christain so why would God defeat someone who truly believes in the scriptures. How hipocritical can anyone be and so typical of today Religious zealots who profess to believe in God.

    October 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
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