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. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    what a bunch of MORONS

    October 11, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  2. Paul Watson

    McCain and Palin both should strongly denounce this idiotic and religiously inflamatory statement. Is this the foreign policy atmosphere the republican candidates will be tacitly allowing if they win?

    October 11, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  3. Jim

    As a minister and follower of Jesus, I am both deeply saddened and frightened. I cannot imagine any one who really understands Jesus' core teachings saying such things. No wonder so many find Jesus interesting and attractive and Christians and the Christian Church so distasteful. When I am asked if I am a "Christian," I tend to say, "No, but I am a follower of Jesus." The anger and prejudice now surfacing truly disturbs me. The man who wondered the other day how McCain could be losing to Obama really meant, "How can you, a white man, be losing to a black man." May God save us from those who are racists and who call themselves Christians!

    October 11, 2008 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  4. Obama is black and white

    Because he doesn't look like you he is a terrioist, liar, theft, trader, bimbo, Arab, Jew, when are you going to finally say it. And when you finally say what you really want to say, thank God it could have been someone else.

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  5. Stop the hate

    To me some people all they need to say is they don't want a mixed american man to win they just want it to be an all white man domain this getting really serious if americans don't check themselve and change with the world america will be left behind and third world countries will be dictating to america.

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  6. hank

    I love the hypocrisy when any so-called minister doesn't show respect for others and their religious beliefs. Aren't love and respect suppose to be the number one belief of Christianity?

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  7. Sue F

    These people are sick, racist and Palin and McCain need only look in the mirror to discover why!
    While Rome burns these people who seem to be a part of the pointy head white sheet clan can only pray to God for a defeat?
    They really do believe that God only listens and loves them, that in it'self tells me they aren't Christian as they think, their simply hate filled and hide behind the bible!

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  8. veronica

    we can not let people whop think like this run the world any longer. I'm a long time republican who will be voting for obama this time.

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  9. LT

    Extremism is going to be the final blow in this world. Christian fanaticism is just as odious as any other: inquisitions, slavery, genocide against first people in the Americas, failure to act swiftly during the holocaust, etc, etc., are all etched in the Judeo-Christian history.

    Arnold Conrad's comments are of the kind that further divide our citizens, and stoke the fires of xenophobia. I'm beginning to think McCain is just pain dumb and had been fooling half sleep American public for decades.

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  10. Ed, Santa Fe, NM

    it's no wonder liberals and educated americans hate the lunatic christian right

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  11. Dean Dunham

    What a profanity that this so-called "Christian" pastor has committed-
    as reprehensible as the evangelical who called on Christians to pray for it to rain on Barack Obama's acceptance speech in Denver. What a mockery of God, who will be the one to judge such hipocrites!!
    BARACK OBAMA IS A CHRISTIAN! I, TOO, am a Christian and I believe Barack Obama is the just the answer for our very, very troubled nation. I pray for Obama's safety in light of all the vitriolic HATE that is being spewed from so-called "Christians".

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  12. Traci

    That just goes to show what a fake Christian is. (Republican)
    Everyone knows that real Christians are Democrats. We not only care about Children in the womb but we care about them after they are born. Republicans have shown their true Non-Christian colors over the past 8 years. When Obama is our President you will see how a true Christian governs.


    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  13. citizen

    wow! could it get any more stupid!!

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  14. ted

    NO they are using God as fear OMG. give me a break. freak stupid people in this country must be a world record

    October 11, 2008 11:12 pm at 11:12 pm |
  15. Teacher in CA

    How many times must people be told that Obama is a Christian before they actually get it through their thick skulls?

    People like that should really be ashamed of calling themselves Christian. Their behavior is disgusting. Prayers don't work that way.

    October 11, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  16. Matthew Tanner

    What's remarkable to me is that he was invited to invocation deliver in the first place. The combination of fundamentalism and McCain reminds me of the occult fixation of the Nazi.

    October 11, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  17. abraxis

    While McDufus and Knuckle Head may try to distance themselves from the fascist right wing of their party, it is glaring that the most vicious form of racist attacks use religion as a disguise for their ignorance and flat earth mentality.

    No words can describe their stupidity and racial hatred. Can McDufus and Knuckle Head be too far from these people in their ideology?

    October 11, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  18. Maurice

    This is what irritates me about republicans.. What makes them think that they have a corner on God and that He is at thier beck and call?? While you are praying to God for an Obama defeat, ask that He forgive McCain and Palin for lying so much. Self righteous fools....

    October 11, 2008 11:13 pm at 11:13 pm |
  19. John from Las Vegas

    This guy's an idiot. I'm a Christian and I WANT Obama to win. And for all you rednecks and hillbilly's out there – OBAMA is a CHRISTIAN too!

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  20. Jenny

    I am so offended by this. I am a Christian and a proud supporter of Obama.

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  21. Angie

    I am a committed Christian who is proud to support Barack Obama. I consider myself a "Matthew 25" Christian and feel that Obama best represents the spirit of Christ in our presidential choice.

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  22. Kevin

    It is probably shocking to some Christians, but I am follower of Christ who IS going to vote for Barack Obama. There may be people of other religions praying for him to win the presidency, but there are Christians doing the same thing. Barack Obama is a follower of Christ as expressed in his testimony at the United Church of Christ in Hartford, Conneticut on June 23, 2007. I have yet to read anything about McCain's salvation testimony.

    Barack looks to serve the poor, the needy, and those who have physical needs that should be met. I ask you, which candidate's actions reflect love and which one's reflect anger and hate? Please don't think that all Christians are voting for McCain. It's time that the American church breaks free of the Republican party and focus on serving and loving our neighbors per Jesus' example.

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  23. Dave, Santa Barbara

    One would expect more of this since the Palin experiment was on in earnest.

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  24. Christian Voter

    I am a Christian, and I am certainly not praying for a McCain win... this guy's a nut.

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  25. michaelcal

    I can honestly say I am tired of this crap. Next time you in the media want to say that are also happening in the Obama I want you to remember this and perhaps you will be straight forward with your reporting. You guys seem to go out of your way to avoid saying the McCain campaign is shameful.

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
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