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. Albert

    Yes I'm praying for McCain's defeat. I'm also praying for Obama's defeat.

    Vote SOCIALIST!!!! Vote Brian Moore and Stewart Alexander!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:14 pm at 11:14 pm |
  2. dave

    This is why I distrust organized religion of any kind. They say religion is ok as long as it is mine. God is on nobody's side. We should be on God's side. I think God is disappointed in all politics including Barack and McCain.

    October 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  3. Sadie

    Shame!!! Shame!!! Shame
    I think macsame's people are going too far now\
    may God bless USA and all of us.

    Obama/Biden 08

    October 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  4. Jason Hussein Obama

    This is horrible! Thats all I can say. Horrible.

    October 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  5. Derl

    Interesting that the good pastor needs to fill his omniscient creator in on the details: "stakes are high, Big Guy, better wake up and make sure your omnipotence isn't overshadowed by all the false gods." What a logical trainwreck. I can't believe these stupefying contradictions don't shock more people.

    October 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  6. rachel

    I am shocked at this kind of stereotyping .. If you look... all people from all countries from all backgrounds.. including christians want Barack Obama to win.. he is a diplomat .. and will bring peace and hope to the world ... not devision. Good luck america.. I hope you make the right choice.. another 4 years of the same would be so sad for such a potentially good nation.

    October 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  7. Okon

    I'm worried about John McCain because he is too old for this job that he is fighting so hard for. To be a president is really not a fun job, but be a good leader is a call.Obama is the called one.

    October 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  8. layo24

    While my values and faith play a huge part in what political issues are important to me, as a Christian it saddens me that a minister would make a statement like this. Undoubtedly there are Christians who will vote and want Obama to win the elections and I think it shows a small mindedness on his part about people and who God is.

    October 11, 2008 11:15 pm at 11:15 pm |
  9. Mike R

    No one has a comment for this huh?

    October 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  10. carmen sanchez

    the midia should stop talking about mr obama religion ,mccain and
    palin the hunter fool,should care about how to take care of their
    country and how to worry about health care,canada has a great
    health care,we choose the doctors we want ,and hospitals the goverment those not tell as what to do,so stop saying that canada
    health care doenst work.i feel so sad that americans have to pay
    the doctors and hospitals.
    americans fight for it .please bring the young americans from irak
    wrong war

    October 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  11. brittan

    Well, I am a Christian and I pray for Obama to win on election day. I know that my God is the only God that matters to me but at the same time I know that Jesus teaches us to be tolerant and steadfast in our beliefs.

    October 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  12. Shoshanah

    Conrad's comment is an insult to all people of faith, regardless of how [or whether] they believe in God. I am a Jewish supporter of Obama and therefore, a 'non-Christian' supporter, but to reduce my and other non-Christians' support to a competition among deities is simply ridiculous.

    October 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  13. Bob (Illinois)

    What kind of nonsense is that 'minister' spewing?

    Why haven't reporters lambasted McCain for allowing such garbage to be said and then not saying a single word? Where are you folks? Are you sleeping.

    I don't care one bit if McCain was in the hall at the time or not. He has, in my opinion, reached the level of a dishonorable man!

    October 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  14. Monk

    ROFLMFAO That is the most childish thing, albeit racist and bigoted, that I have ever heard uttered by the mouth of an adult human being!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  15. brittan resaca, ga

    I dont think that the preacher who gave the prayer really understands what he is doing.

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  16. Fred

    Aside from the whacked out weird preacher that he chose to introduce him, McCain's decision making is getting increasingly wobbly. Is McCain actually so incredibly clueless that he is unaware that he is trailing Obama in Iowa by 12% and doesn't stand a chance there?

    McCain's abysmal management skills and erratic behavior really make it obvious he is not qualified to lead a campaign, let alone run a country.

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  17. Chuck

    Hey, Minister Conrad.....

    I can affirm that there are millions and millions of good Christians in America that are for an Obama victory and are praying hard for that victory.

    Why do evangelicals, like Conrad, believe that McCain is their only Messiah. Sorry, Pastor Conrad, but, a lot of evangelicals also believe that it is in their own self-interest to make sure that Senator Obama becomes our next President of the United States of American..

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. Question...

    What exactly are Conservatives so angry about? They've been the one's in power for the last 8 years! What do they want? To wreck this country even more than they already have?

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  19. wilson

    John Sydney McCain has knowingly insinuated primarily by pointing to Ayers that Barack Hussein Obama is a terrorist. The "low information" voter is the target. This is no accident, this is a strategy.
    Now McCain is a hypocrit demanding Obama to denounce the Rendell comments which were simply an intelligent warning.
    McCain has promoted the hate/fear mongering and now he cannot unring the bell. Dispicable and dangerous.

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  20. Hattie Johnson

    Listen Up America; The God that I know personally and read about in the KJV was PRO-CHOICE. Did God give Adam and Eve a choice in the Garden of Eden? He gave them a will to make conscious choices that lead to consequences or blessings. Our constitution gives our diverse religious cultures choices as well. The Church does not control our Constitution or our choices as Americans. We are a country with choices. The Church's responsibilty is to teach within their congregations The Word Of God and allow them to make the choices needed for themselves and their families. People vote for what's important to their families and their country. That's the country we live in a "Pro-Choice" country. Teach your children good moral lessons and live by example. Jesus did not teach discrimination, rascism or hatred. He taught, "Love Ye One Another as I have loved you. Jesus gave up his life for us out of love. He looked beyond our faults and saw our needs. A need to be loved and saved. Can we do this for one another as genuine Christians? Don't let your children grow up seeing hypocrisy in their home and country.

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  21. m c

    I just read some of the comments on the CNN blogs and had to go into the bathroom to vomit!!! Making fun of McCain and Palin when they are honorable Americans!!! Plenty of nasty things can be said about Obama and Biden!!! Maybe it's people like on the blogs that are causing the anger toward Obama!!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  22. Hati

    It is terribly pitiful that some McCain/Palin supporters are so blinded by ignorance that in order hold on to their simple myopic views they resort to fear tactics. While I believe it is important to have faith as a guiding factor in ones life, I also believe that we have to remove the logs from our eyes before judging the sticks in our neighbours eyes.
    Obama 08-16!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. cscribner

    I am appalled at how our country is enthralled with dragging Barack Obama's character through the mud. I can honestly say that the sentiments coming from people who are saying these things are truly "non-american" and they should be deported from our country. Our forefathers created our democracy on the principal that everyone is created equal, whether you are black, white, puerto rican, hispanic or any other nationality on the face of the Earth. That is exactly what the Bible says, whether people want to mis-interpret that fact or not. Do we not have "In God We Trust" on our money? I think these people who don't trust God, need to ask themselves if they should even call themselves "Christians" or just hypocrites.

    October 11, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  24. Not4MoreYears

    McCain – how do you sleep at night? I thought you were an honorable man – how can you countenance this kind of intolerant bigotry? Is this really what you've become?

    Retire before you totally trash your legacy, please.

    October 11, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
  25. Eric

    McCain supporters are ANGRY, RADICAL, WARMONGERS.

    October 11, 2008 11:18 pm at 11:18 pm |
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