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. Lisa

    Apparently the McCain campaign needs to vet their ignorant speakers. I am a christian supporting Barack and I am offended. If they think there are no christians are supporting Barack Obama, they will be surprised come election day.

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  2. Art

    Their at it again, The evangical churches who want to munipilate another election. NOT THIS TIME! I guess when Obama wins you'll blame God for not doing what you tell him to do, like not obeying your request for bad weather when Obama accepted his nomination, but there was a hurricane on the day of the GOPs opening for their convention. TAKE HEED

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  3. K. G.

    Either this was an irresponsible mistake or a devious ploy by the McCain campaign. McCain's efforts to stir up fear and loathing amongst the ignorant are reaching a fevered pitch in direct correlation to his weakening position. He is playing with fire and the fire is more likely to consume him. Nevertheless, the effects of this kind of fear-mongering will linger for years to come.

    McCain appears completely out of touch with the fact that we are a nation of many religions and ethnicities and we are part of a large community of nations and cultures called Humanity. It's time we have leadership that is respectful and knowledgeable about Others, as well as his/her own particular culture. How can we lead the world if we don't want to share in it?

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  4. B. Thompson

    This really disturbes me, not because I am supporting Sen. Obama but because I had so much respect for Sen. McCain. I've always thought McCain was an honorable man and someone who wasn't like the other republicans, I guess I was wrong. This just goes to show that racism is still well alive, but it's okay because these old, out-of-touch racist will soon be gone and dead and OUR beautiful AMERICA will once again be great.GOD BLESS SEN.OBAMA & SEN.MCCAIN & GOD BLESS AMERICA..........

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  5. Jimbo

    What a shamelessly slimy response from the McCain campaign to Conrad's idiotic invocation. She should have simply condemned the remarks, without the slippery solicitude. What "questions about the religious background of the candidates" is Wendy Riemann showing such respect for. There is no question about his religious background except among morons. Is she suggesting that their "questions" are valid, but not all that important? Why doesn't she just say flat out that Obama is a Christian and that God is not a Republican? Is she afraid of offending someone? That hag in the windbreaker who called him an Arab maybe. Wouldn't want to lose her vote, huh Wendy? Never underestimate how low the Republicans will go when they think realize they are losing.

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  6. Karen

    Don't they remember Martin, Bobby & John? I'm not a democrat or a minority, but the McCain/Palin rallies are giving me nightmares–it's like they've been inciting a lynchmob & until yesterday, enjoying it! Don't they remember Martin, Bobby & John? They are acting dangerous & irresponsible. Sure they can attack each others policies, but not play on fear & ignorance. You have a voice heard above others, so please appeal to McCain's sense of honor. He professes to put America first and instead tries to divide it. How would he feel if something happened to Obama because of his fanning flames? How would he face Michelle & the little girls, let alone our nation? This is sad & terrifying.

    October 11, 2008 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  7. jls

    Excuse me? Men of God should NOT talk like this! WTH?

    October 11, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  8. philip

    Yes, people around the world are praying that Americans make the right decision and return our country to sanity by electing Barack Obama. The ignorance is to think that God answers such prayers as this would be man of God would have you think. God allows people to make decisions but does not have a direct hand in the outcome. So pray, shake, go into convulsions, what ever floats your boat and the outcome will be the same if you don't.

    October 11, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  9. Nathan

    What a despicable thing to say. Millions of Christians in AMERICA are praying for Obama to win. I get more disgusted by the minute. Do my fellow citizens really believe this is about religion??

    October 11, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  10. Grant NYC

    Is it me or do McCain supporters come off as a bunch of angry bigots? Next stop... the Klan Rally!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  11. Jake145

    What on earth.
    As a Chrisitian I find it highly offensive that this minister has the nerve to suggest that just because you don't vote for McCain you serve "another god" or you are not a Christian.
    The blind leading the blind.

    October 11, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  12. Sean Camoni

    Well, I've been and will continue to pray to the God of Abraham, through Jesus, the Son and with the Holy Spirit, for an Obama victory which will bring us closer to peace. I will also continue to pray for the safety of each of these public servants, that none of their more zealous supporters brings harm to any one of them. And tonight I will pray for this misguided pastor, that he will understand the Word he reads and realize that it is no threat to the greatness of God to be called buy many names in many languages by peoples of many colors. Amen.

    October 11, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  13. Mark

    Obama went to a church for 20 years and children got saved and he got married there. The preacher there was a prejudice black man towards white peope cause he said alot of racial descrimination against white race. His preacher was even talking about cutting off white man ears and torturing them. If Obama is not descriminating against the white race, why did he go to that church for so long. Why does he always say something that relates like, you do towards whites being prejudice against blacks when the blacks are really the prejudice ones. Thats why all the blacks vote for Obama and not for a white man. If you want to tell the truth you should let it be known that the blacks are more racial descrimnation towards whites than the whites towards the blacks. America wants to get rid of the racial descrimination and can't because of the racial descrimination that blacks have against the whites.

    October 11, 2008 11:06 pm at 11:06 pm |
  14. Preach this!!!! in Dallas, tx

    Pray for the soilders that McCain wants to keep sending to die in Iraq where "victory is well in sight" Pray for the mothers who sons and daughters are being aborted in war. Pray for the men who commit Adultery. Pray for the young people having premarital sex. Pray for the people who loose their job because of a selfish cold hearted person fired them and lied about it in the worse time in the world to be jobless.

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  15. Art

    News alert – there are Christians here in the US who are praying for an Obama victory....

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  16. Art

    When the woman at the McCain rally said Obama was an Arab, I thought, what is with being Arab anyway? What if we substitute the word Jewish for Arab and McCain said, "no he is not Jewish, he is a decent man." Most Arabs are law abidding, good people just like people of other cultures and religions.

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  17. DaProfessor

    It would appear that all the right-wing extremist kooks are coming out from under their rocks and both McCain and Palin are encouraging it. Rove must be dancing with glee. That minister who asked for prayers against an Obama win is just another fool who is encouraging a tax to be levied on his church.

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  18. Molly

    Well crazy...I'm a christian and I support Obama. He actually atempts to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ...maybe you should read your bible again.

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  19. msdx

    I find all of this kind of ignorant stuff tiresome. I don't care what religion people are that support Barack Obama. I'm catholic and I hope he wins is that enough now? Can we put that to rest or is this another jab at a man because his name is different because it certainly sounds like that to me. I mean God never gave me the option to pick my name or who I was born to. Are we to believe now that if some christian guy doesn't like people named Steve and some Buddhist guy does that all people named Steve must be evil? That's ridiculous!

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  20. bjm

    God loves people from all faiths and from all parts of the world. God is not loyal to any particular country or political party. Christians are called to love one another, and to not take the Lord's name in vain. I think this pastor was confused, as many before him have been in our history. Bigotry has no place among true, believing Christians. It is, however, quite appropriate and responsible for people from any faith to pray for our leaders and the direction of our country and world.

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Sounds like someone is clinging to their guns and their religion.

    October 11, 2008 11:07 pm at 11:07 pm |
  22. Alfred

    By they way, I am an LDS who supports Obama. I think this country would be in great trouble if McCain wins this election. The next thing he would wan to do is to start WW III with all non Christian countries.

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


    October 11, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  24. Michael

    McCain like Bush has divided the country in half. I think it was Abe Lincoln, a Republican, who said, "A house divided against itself can not stand." Bush divided the country and brought disaster. McCain is dividing the country and will bring disaster should he win. Shameful.

    October 11, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
  25. Shane

    This is about one of the most ignorant and fear mongering statements I think I have read regarding this election. As a Christian I find this shameful

    October 11, 2008 11:08 pm at 11:08 pm |
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