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. An American Athiest in Sin City

    Wow, You Conservatives will not cut any one a break. Obama is so christian that I am afraid to vote for him and yet you make him out to be some kind of anti-christ!?!?! I am torn. Do I vote for the guy who wears Christ on his sleeve or do I vote for the guy that whackjob fearmongers like Mr. Arnold Conrad is supporting? Hmmm, Sorry but I think Obama might be the lesser of two evils in this case!

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  2. yabbadabbadootime

    typical evangelical-frees..... whatever you guys are pathetic

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  3. bern

    McCain's people picked this idiot to give the invocation. Clearly they had a choice of religious leaders but, in their "wisdom" decided to let the good Reverend Conrad have the honor. Surely they knew he was a nut case before he spoke.

    McCain's people do the same bs all the time. They do something way beyond the pale and then try to act like they got surprised. John Lewis is right. John McCain is just a 21st century George Wallace. Intolerance on any level is wrong. What Jesus have said the words that Conrad used?

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  4. Who do McCain/Palin supporters remind YOU of??

    Well there you have it. Are you connecting the dots people? Make no mistake about it, these folks are no better then those in the Middle East who use these exact same tactics to DEFEAT CHANGE, and to keep things the way they are, no matter what freedoms are taken away in the process. This is no way to live! This is frightening a lot of people! Do you not know that? And when people get scared, that's when people start getting a little nuts and not trusting eachother. That is not a box you want to open. We have a chance this November to erase that and really focus on improving our country. A lot of blood was shed so that this woud never happen again. We're better then this.

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Chris Coppus

    I am Christian and I am voting for Obama, so maybe Christains are praying for him also. Here we go the utra conservatives feel they are the only Christians and think they are the only ones that will make it to heaven. Most don't want anyone else to be able to think for themselves.

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  6. Matt

    I think it is sad, when our country has to resort to racist remarks to try and persuade a crowd against a particular candidate. I realize this country is still split on the race issue, but to make remarks like this worries me as to where our country is headed after we have done so much work to get away from that humiliating past that has haunted us for so long.

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  7. Chelle in Fla

    As a believer in God the Almighty, Jesus as my Saviour I am UTTERLY appalled by this. This is the biggest problem with "Christians" now, instead of calling people to Christ they turn people off because they think they are holy then thou when in fact it is so obvious that they are being hypocrites. So what, if Obama wins there is no God???? give me a break. God Bless Obama and God Bless America.

    October 11, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Fed up!

    It is sad to see such rhetoric aimed at those who believe their own perspective on faith is the ONLY truth.

    Another divisive tactic aimed at driving fear into Christians.

    Is it inconceivable that people around the world may worship one God viewed through different lenses?

    Desperation is transparent. Obama/Biden 08

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  9. JFK

    Yes McCain supporters, its TRUE! And the world is flat too!

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  10. Wendel, Lakeland, FL

    What is going on now in John McShame Rallies? Is it a coincidence? I think not. We all now can see his true color.

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  11. Deesi

    wao Germany was a racist country that nobody knew that a day will come were there will be no more racism in that country but for America i think we have long way to go

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  12. debwilldo

    I am saddened and very disturbed at the type of campaign that the Republican party is running. John McCain's attitude and the disrespect that he's shown to Senator Obama, has fed the venomous and scurrilous things that Sarah Palin have been saying. Palin sounds hateful,racist and the attacks so very personal, with the nastiness that she displays when she speaks of him.
    She's been hiding the "dirty doings" and bullying that she and her husband (who want to secede from America) subjected her staff to with him wielding power like HE was elected. It confirms the negative vibe that I've been getting from the moment that McCain announced her as his candidate. So…could it be that Sarah was extra "snarky" in order to throw the light off of that those unpleasant truths that she knew she was hiding, and not just her biting personality?
    McCain will obviously say/do anything to win, and to let Sarah, Cindy and FOX and be his "less than honest" attack dogs, says that he will put what he wants first, and not our country as he so often says.
    At this moment in time…that position is far too dangerous for us all.

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  13. Chris from STL

    Yuck! How can these godly men can be so evil in spirit?

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  14. Junebug

    My, my, my – what idiocy next.

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  15. shivant

    The middle name "Hussein" of Mr. Obama in not of much concern to me. My concern is how well Mr. Obama represents America with respect its culture, heritage, and tradition. Here is where I feel nervous about Mr. Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  16. This Christian is offended!

    McCain just lost the election.

    October 11, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  17. Vi

    These people are pathetic. As if God is a part of their ignorance. But then again, KKK considers themselves "God-fearing Christians".

    October 11, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  18. wrong

    yet another reason why religion is a tool for evil.
    how can you, with a straight face, wish harm upon someone else and call yourself a good christian american? god would strike you down himself...if he existed. oh and by the way, hindu isn't a god you moron.

    October 11, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  19. randy

    wow how much low can mcain and his supporters will go to bring obama down well it will not work not this time.

    October 11, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  20. Thebe

    McCain/Palin followers = Lunatic Fringe.

    October 11, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  21. Lu

    "Believers for Obama" – There is a growing number of thinking evangelicals who are supportive of a democrat ticket. Republicans have hijacked Christians for way too long to make a presidential election of single issues of anti-abortion and gay marriage. There are more and more Christians who are concerned about the way poor people are treated, the way veterans are treated, the way lives are lost of our own and of others in pointless wars. Republicans have not solved a single issue for abortion or gay marriage, yet they have disguised a range of policies to serve the wealthy and encourage selfishness in the principles of governing. Even on the issues of abortion and gay marriage, is it really a Chrisitan perspective to want to throw these people in jail? Our roles to love, not hate or fear, are not encouraged in the Republican platform.

    October 11, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  22. Republican Woman For Obama

    The non right-wing wackos in IA are already voting for Obama! Now some Republicans there will be voting for him too since McCain has gone all the way to the right! scary! These are the people Palin brings out! I guess Pastor Conrad is completely comfortable with the Abuse of Power verdict on Palin and doesn't think it's a sin...I guess he doesn't think it's a sin to bear false witness against thy neighbor either. I can't stand pseudo-christians! I don't know him/her personally but I don't think God is pleased with them much either.


    October 11, 2008 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  23. republicans hate america

    remember last time you guys prayed for rain on the DNC?

    October 11, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  24. Tom

    The GOP has disintegrated into the Party of Nutcases. Can any sane, rational, thinking person call themselves a Republican these days??

    October 11, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
  25. C

    What a hateful man. God is not about hate. Shame on him and his followers.

    October 11, 2008 09:07 pm at 9:07 pm |
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