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. kerrycharles2


    October 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  2. Amy from Colorado

    This type of religious and racial bias makes me sick.

    If you want to talk about Christian virtues, it is Obama who has remained faithful and steadfast by his one and only spouse, and it is McCain who committed adultery and left his first wife and children for another woman, Cindy McCain.

    October 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  3. Bubba

    I am a Hindu. No, that does not make me a God. 🙂

    But I do hope that whoever wins the US Presidential election is not an idiot like this "Evangelist" preacher Arnold Conrad. It is really revealing that in 2008, the "gods" of the Christian religion are such bigoted morons who are completely ignorant about the religions of the world.

    McCain is a decent man. Dum-dum Ayatollah Palin makes up for that incongruity in the Republican ticket.

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

    Floods, Drought, People dying of starvation, disease, war, and this moron is asking his God to help McCain win?

    Well I guess it makes sense, If McCain does win it would be a miracle of Biblical proportions.

    And BTW friend Jesus was a liberal. Anti-establishment Anti- Death Penalty Anti Capitalism. Man, Jesus was almost a freakin commie!

    October 11, 2008 10:39 pm at 10:39 pm |
  5. michael

    ur sick McCain!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  6. Monica

    That quote "said Arnold Conrad, the former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport" – that man was an Evangelic pastor- doesn't he know that Obama is Evangelic? That's outrageous of what he said and extremely offensive. America is supposed to be a diversified nation with all kinds of religions and cultures. And now that man comes out in a public speech and says Lord they might think their gods bigger than you? Are you serious? What was he thinking!? This presidential race is getting dirtier and nastier.

    October 11, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  7. Christopher

    We are in for some very rough times. These types of comments reveal how the uneducated, marginalized, and hurting folks are expressing their fear.

    The very fact that a comment like this can open a candidate's presidential campaign rally means that it's over. This is an ignorant comment made before ignorant people about an extraordinarily out of touch and ignorant candidate.

    The feelings of this segment of the country are also real. The economy has tanked, informed decision making is undermined by circus of this example, and I'm genuinely worried about our future.

    "And Lord, I pray that you will guard your own reputation,"

    Seriously, what informed person can address this type of fear and ignorance?

    October 11, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  8. Marlon

    that is so scary – what happened to separation of church and state??? is john mccain running for president of the christian states of america or the united states of america?? he should denounce this minister if he wants to retain ANY credibility whatsoever.

    October 11, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  9. Spare Me

    I am a Christian and I am voting for OBAMA. There is so much hate surrounding the McCain campaign. It just seems that every hate-filled person has decided to come out and show their support for McCain and display their hate for the entire world to see. It is barbaric to how some of his supporters are acting.

    October 11, 2008 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  10. mark

    As a born again Christian I have to disagree as I have been pulling for Obama to win since Iowa's primary...The more radical Christian Right has very little to do with what Christianity is all about...

    October 11, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  11. Abbey

    This is outrageous and ridiculous.... what a shame and an height of hypocrisy.

    October 11, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  12. xargaw

    The Republican Party has officially become a HATE GROUP. Fundamentalists with no tolerance for any brand of Christianity other than their own narrow doctrine. Fundamentalists that hate other religions. Racists, bigots, hatemongers. Uneducated and ignorant small minded indecent people. There is nothing to admire about the McCain Campaign or the Republican Party. I expect and exodus from this Party. Decent Americans will not want to bask in the light of these people. There is one bright spot. Perhaps we will soon see the demise of the Limbaughs, Hannitys and Savages and their ilk.

    October 11, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  13. Nina-Florida

    How can anyone that is a minister, a man of the cloth supposedly called by God deliver such a prayer? And they wonder why John McCain is behind in the national polls.

    October 11, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  14. kenny

    Republicans and the US Christian groups are out of their mind. Using religion to control political views. It is true that countries around the world see Obama as a better candidate, but no one would pray to ask their Gods let Obama win this election. McCain's people has nothing to defend for McCain and now using religion as a fear to move voters.

    Ridiculous McPa supporters..

    It is sad to see many religious people use religion as a tool to win election. If that is the case, religions in this country should be tax for their move of support. I am Christian but I do think this Republican Christians are using their religion's name in vain. Sad, very sad.

    October 11, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  15. SJM

    If a McCain victory happens, will it be because God listened to the prayers of one ignorant man? If your god needs your bigotted words to get him moving, to do what is best for him, yours is a puny god.

    My God is all powerful and His will will be done – whether it is McCain or Obama. While I await God's will on this matter, I will vote for Obama.

    October 11, 2008 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  16. Pete in WA

    I bet Pastor Conrad has never been outside the United States (or only perhaps to the Holy Land on a religious tour). There are many Christians around the world that would love Obama to win. They have seen the disgrace that the "Christian" Bush has brought on the faithful.

    October 11, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  17. g-girl

    typical "whitewash" response – "distancing ourselves" from the remark. what a bunch of hypocrits!! inciting hatred, then pulling a "holier-than-thou" facade. you insult the intelligence of the american populace. should any violence occur as a result of your hate-mongering, just remember, you have a higher authority to answer to than the american people, and you won't be able to distance yourselves from Him.

    October 11, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  18. Linda

    I find it hard to believe such views in this day and age. The Christian Church is supposed to teach peace and harmony among all people regardless of race, color or religion. Even looking at this from a non religious point of view, anyone who believes this terrorist crap about Obama must be living in a cave. This is the 21st century people!! The rest of the world is progressing ... and with attitude like this, apparently some parts of the US have some catching up to do. C'mon People ... wake up!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  19. Bryce K. Dixon

    Congressman Lewis got it right, don't tell the McCain folk can't tell the crowd warmers not to say things like that!!!!

    My God forgive them all !!!


    October 11, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  20. John in KY

    The constitution of the US says to keep Religon and Politics seperate
    and I agree 100%!

    October 11, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  21. zuq

    They should instead pray that they don't get laid off or that their jobs don't get outsourced to India or China. Give me a break!

    October 11, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  22. Julie S.

    I am a Christian and will be voting for the Obama/Biden ticket. Does this mean that in the eyes of the far-right, so called Christians of this country, that I am not a Christian?

    October 11, 2008 10:42 pm at 10:42 pm |
  23. Xavier

    I am a christian, and I want an Obama win.

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  24. Joe

    A true Christian in my opinion ought to pray for God to allow who He think best to win the election. Praying for one candidate to win over the other is like unto making our own decision and ask God to bless it. Wether we be republicans, democrates or independants, men or women, boys and girls, lets all pray that God may grant us a leader that will be of His choosing, that will respect God's will for this great nation of us,

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  25. Andrea

    And these people call themselves Christians? Haven't they ever heard the song..."and they'll know we are Christians by our love?" Seriously, What would jesus do? A bunch of hypocrites who will have their day on judgment day!!!!

    October 11, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
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