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. go america

    Obama victory would be a worst thing after other. Please do not do it to this beatiful country that i learned to love.

    Go america Neverobama and Bin....

    October 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  2. preacher man

    I am one who also believes that God WILL NOT act to prevent his servant Barak, which means (blessed by God) from being elected and protected as the 44th President of the United States of America.

    October 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  3. SB in NoVa

    What ever happened to separation of church and state???

    I am most certainly a Christian AND a Democrat voting for Obama/Biden. This is getting unbelievable!

    October 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  4. Teri

    There goes that 'separation of church & state' again.

    October 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  5. Concerned

    You must be kidding me, pastor. What's wrong with Hinduism or Budhism? You clearly don't understand anything about those two religions, which are over 5000 years old. With comments like that, you are not helping anyone. Vut rather, you are fanning flames of religious hatred, or even worse, insult these wonderful religions. Shame on you, dude. You are NOT worthy of being a "god" man. Get lost.

    October 11, 2008 11:26 pm at 11:26 pm |
  6. TheTruthEnforcer

    These Republicans are doomed to hell for their lies, hypocrisy, and greed.

    October 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  7. brenda


    October 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  8. Joseph Ruiz

    To think that there are not people worshipping a Christian God; people who follow Jesus Christ praying for Barack Obama to win the elction would be foolish. I am one of them. And I consider it a foul on the side of the McCain campaign that he would use religion in this manner.

    With that logic, my God's name would be at stake if my candidate Barack Obama wins. Either way, someone loses and God is somehow smeared in all of these politics.

    I pray to the same God as some of McCain's voters. So how much sense does it make that someone's perception of that very God would be based upon who wins this election.

    Obama 08.
    Christ is King forever.

    October 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  9. TyWebb

    What a loser for a person selected to introduce you, McCain...especially since Iowa is lost already.

    October 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  10. Niko the Farmer

    McCain followers are downright nutty.

    October 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  11. Hypochristians

    How pathetic. The race for the President of the United States of America has devolved to a popularity contest to see whose god is better. . .

    October 11, 2008 11:27 pm at 11:27 pm |
  12. carol sullivan


    October 11, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  13. hakeemsdad, fl

    And McPain states that he and his believers are angry very angry but he doesn't have any solutions. All we hear is BS and attack on Obama.
    They blame Obama for everything, how sadddddddddd!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 11, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  14. no lnger trust Mccain

    Obama is a good christian man who values God, family and country!!! we have every reason to not only trust him but to make sure he gets our votes and uses hi sintelligence, his diplomacy, his peaceful nature to bring about the change our country and the world need. We are so done with the last eight years and I don't care what color the man is who is going to help my future, my financial freedom and my country. I am a proud supporter of Senator Obama who is honored to give him my vote on November 4th. Anyone with half a brain knows that his steadiness and leadership will do all of us much better than Mccain's lack of knowledge and lack of leadership.

    October 11, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  15. Palin 2012

    We all want Obama to win

    October 11, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  16. Kisna

    I am a HINDU American and guess what- I am praying or Obama..and GUESS WHAT..I for once never thought I am outsider in my own country..

    McCain has brought so much hate in this country. I have so many Christian friends and they all support Obama and we are all praying for his WIN..who knows- if there are so many GODS as this crazy pastor thinks- maybe- so many GODS – be it Christian, Hindu, Muslin, Buddist- all will hear our prayers and make OBAMA the next President..

    As for me- I feel- Obama will win because of people's votes. AND HE WILL WIN

    October 11, 2008 11:28 pm at 11:28 pm |
  17. Independent

    As a Christian, I would like to strongly denounce this bigot and ignoramus of a minister.

    October 11, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  18. Uche (Truly Independent)

    CNN my comments have always been put on Moderation and/or not published why is this so? I hope you publish this one.

    I think Mccain needs to apologise to Barack Obama for the uncharacteristical way his supports and surrogates have treated Obama. Calling him names etc and he needs to put out a clear cut statement emphasising this. It is absurd that a sitting Senator will lead in trying to destroy the CHARACTER of another sitting senator. Where is the respect. I believed politics is a game of emphasising the differing policies and plans of constestants.

    October 11, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  19. sandee in Portland

    Well, I hate to disappoint the former pastor, but this is one Christian that's voting for Obama. It's so sad that McCain and Palin instill these kind of values in their supporters, but what else can they expect after weeks of not telling the truth. I do think, however, that Palin attracts this type of voter more than McCain.

    October 11, 2008 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  20. Annette

    How sick.

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  21. Teri

    Someone should have reminded him how well James Dobson's prayer for raining out the Dem Convention in Denver went...all it did was bring Ike to the Gulf in time for the Republican convention to be delayed and remind everyone of Katrina.

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  22. Rae

    So what happens if Obama does win? Does that mean that the Christian God is spiting the religious nuts that are praying for his defeat? Maybe it suits them right.
    Pray all that you want, religous right. Republicans, I'm very sorry that these religious radicals have taken over your party. If it was the year 2000 McCain in charge of this party, and not the Bush cronies–this race might be closer.
    In any case, this solidifies my vote for Obama. We don't need the religious right in charge of our country. Let's get back to basic politics–fiscal conservatism or not, government involved in peoples lives or not... this country was founded on separation of church and state, and not this inflamed relivious version we're seeing now.

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  23. Rebecca

    McCain and Palin are running a pathetic, mean-spirited campaign. The good news is that Americans of every faith are seeing through their lies. We are looking forward to having Barack Obama, a individual with intelligence and integrity, lead our country!

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. sahibzada77

    The genuine fear the elderly woman in the town hall expressed with regard to Obama being Arab was a reminder of how instilling the fear of the ‘other’ works. Muslim and Arab are becoming synonyms for terrorist. How right and fair is that? How fair will it be to paint every American responsible for the Abu Gharib episode? How fair will it be to consider every Christian responsible for the Holocaust? Please stop this insanity Sen. McCain and prove that you are capable of running your campaign without resorting to fueling the flames of fear and hate. The wounded humanity is desperate for a healing touch.

    "In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist;
    And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist;
    And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew;
    And then . . . they came for me . . . And by that time there was no one left to speak up."

    (Martin Niemöller)

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  25. EJ

    I am a born again Christian. I love the Lord with all my heart and mind. I was raised in church and I attend church service every Sunday. I am also an Obama supporter. I am offended by the words statement coming from so-called Christians. How dare these people evoke the name of Jesus while pushing an unChrist-like agenda. "Many will say, Lord didn't I preach in your name. And he will reply, depart from me, for I know you not, thou worker of iniquity. Jesus mention that one of His greatest commandments was to love. I don't see much of any of that coming from the McCain supporters. I now see why people give me a hard time when I try to minister to them about Christ. This is because the so-called Christian arn't living any more Christ-like than people who don't attend church.

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79