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. Independent for Obama!!

    My love for my country, my need for my fianancial security and my safety are the reasons I am voting for Obama. Mccain has made many mistakes in this election and I do not believe he will do anything different from what Bush has done in the ast eight years, so Senator Obama, I am really happy to give you my vote!! I put all my trust in you!

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  2. Boston Bean

    May GOD bless this IGNORANT minister who is leading a flock. GOD is LOVE

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  3. mr.truth

    where does it end? it's sad, but true feelings are starting to come out .
    say what you will, race will always be an issue in this country.

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  4. sofia

    Wow I cannot believe some Americans can be so narrow minded and ignorant. Looking at your election from Canada I am just amazed from what I read and watch .I do not mind to disagree, but to blackmail Obama and most of all to pray to God of his defeat is
    Unchristian. I pray that God's will to happen more than my will.
    May God lead to the right.
    Thank you Sofia

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  5. Naiyoko

    This is crazy. First of all I am a Christian. I 100% support Barack Obama. I don't pray that Barack Obama wins because I know that what God has already set in motion is what it will be come Nov 4. I hold on to faith that God has ordained Barack's path to be President on Nov 4, 2008. In a true Christian would not make a comment saying because we support Barack we are non-christians. As a christian I will pray for the person who spoke these words and ask God to forgive him for using his name in vain. God don't like ugly and McCain/Palin and their supporters have been very ugly. So to McCain/Palin and all your supporters, one day you will have to answer to God and I Pray that he forgives you.

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  6. Don from Maine

    What a sad state of affiars this party is in. Judging by the mCCain war rhetoric I'm sure alot of other countries are pulling for Obama. Diplomacy is always a better path than war. this is the most pathetic republican ticket in the last 40 years. An arrogant out of touch elitist and a total airhead. I cannot beleive this is the best team the repulbicans could have fielded. I predict this to be the most lopsided loss in republican history. Its time to retire McCain and send caribou Barbie back to Alaska. Obama will unite this country and get it back on track. Yes we can.
    Obama 08

    October 11, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |

    I dont know what kind of pastor Conrad is but i dont think he can speak for GOD . I have been a christian for 46 years of my 58 years of life and have served him everyday the best that I could and I love God and knows that he loves me ,and I pray every single day and ask him to show me his way. I have left the church after 46 years because my pastor like a lot of pastors have broght politics into the church and have put politics before God. Church is supose to be about bringing people to christ and not to a political party!! If Conrad was a ture pastor of jesus christ then he would be telling people whome he preaches to and himself to pray and ask God to lead and Guide them since the BIBLE!!! says that GOD!!! says that the nations are his and he put over them whom he chosses and it also says judge not so that you wont be judge. Also all christian pastors should ask themselves what God do they serve is it politics, money, or power,because it's sure not the real true God. I well return to the Church when God leads me to the one that is only preaching and talking about him, his son ,the spirit, and his word from the pulpit. If Conrad was a true pastor of the lord jesus christ he would know that christians are indenpendents, democrats, republican, black, white, red and brown . This pastor should repent and ask God to forgive him for speaking against a brother in christ just because his political views are defferent. If pastor recalls in his Bible!! it says that we are all of one body and that the church makes up that body. Pastor Conrad should also ask himself why doese the Evangelical Church not drew all reaces of people to it because it doese not look like the church or act like the church that is supose to represent our lord jesus christ . Or is evangelical the new code word for white republican.

    October 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  8. Carolyn Repeta

    More wacko Christian leaders, sending their hate.....how is it that Mother Theresa who followed the words of Jesus in LOVE, as well as the Christ himself, can have any similiarity as these hate mongers? HATE HATE HATE is all they preach.......amazing for a group that hijacked Jesus Christ.! You make me sick you evil hate mongers.
    Jesus was a DARK SKINNED JEW FROM the MIDDLE EAST.........and you don't like the light skinned black guy.....ha......your a joke

    October 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  9. dylan

    This is bordering on ridiculous. When will the McCain campaign back off? What next? Obama is the Anti-Christ?

    October 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  10. smark

    Our country needs to be united and not divided by faith, gender, age, culture and race. There is no more time for fear. I believe that a leader, our next President, understands this concept. This leader knows that we are all related to each other on this beautiful planet.

    This kind of leader is Senator Barack Obama!

    October 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  11. Heather

    Wow. What year is this minister living in??? Actually in what reality, would be a better question.

    October 11, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  12. Matt

    This is exactly why I don't go to church. This minister displayed pure ignorance.

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  13. Independent_me

    What hypocrites these Republicans are!
    Wolves in sheep's clothing!
    God will not be mocked. Obama will win.

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  14. jm

    cnn why not post my blogs or other pples blogs,i will keep writing till one day you will decide to post one.
    the pastor should know obama is christian,and he can;t judge others expect GOD.is dommed.

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  15. Lucy

    I hope your prayers will be as successful as your prayers for rain of Biblical proportions at the Denver Democratic Convention. What if God pays no attention to hateful prayers?

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  16. Shirley Murphy

    Just what did Mr. McCain think Palin was doing last week when all she had to say was "Pals around w/terrorist"?? This is what President Clinton was saying when he said "Palin was smart" Bill is smarter than most people. Obama had enought against him before this Palin woman came in the picture. Tonight I will pray that God forgives Palin. I think Obama will make a great president.

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  17. Tubby The Tuba

    Best be careful about that praying. The last time a minister asked the country to pray for a flood of Biblical proportion to stop Obama from make his acceptance speech: the flood came, and in Biblical proportion, but it came on the opening of the Republican National Convention!!! That might have been a message from God to the Republicans who think they own God and religion! If you remember that was Gustavo, but then came Hurrican Ike...God's answer to the Republican religious right! Sooooo, you go ahead and pray, cause God is on the side of the Democrats!!

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  18. Dan, TX

    moderate republicans – where are you?

    Moderate republicans, you know you can work with Obama. We have to start from scratch. Throw all the plans out the window from the campaigns and come to consensus on how to move forward on the economy, health care, withdrawl from Iraq, etc.

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  19. Me

    So now they are being religious bigots as well? Whatever happened to the vision of our ~deist~ founding fathers?

    October 11, 2008 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
  20. Annie, Atlanta

    Don't you love these people who hide behind their faux faith to spread hate and fear across our land. I am a Christian. I have already cast my vote for Senator Barack Obama. This is a disgrace. God help us.

    October 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    There is not many Gods out there, and there is only one. I think we all pray for him for forgiveness, and to give us what is best for this country whether it be Obama or McCain. Shame on this pastor who is asking us to question our faith!

    October 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  22. Bruce

    This makes me sick to my stomach.

    Lewis had it right. McCain Palin Rallies have become very similar to the racist Lynching mobs of old.

    McCain started this and now he cant contain it. Some leadership huh.

    October 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  23. Rebecca

    ps. I'm a Christian and I'm praying for Obama to win. McCain and his hypocritical cronies can only speak for themselves, as they certainly do not reflect the Christian values that I believe in like Faith, Hope and Love for your neighbor.

    October 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  24. Dylan Smith

    This is ridiculous. Obama, is, indeed a Christian as he has said all of his adult life. He does not, as most Christians do, think he is supperior just because he is a Christian. This is one of the main reasons America has become hated all around the world is the mindset of Christians that they are simply better than everyone else.

    October 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
  25. erbotCA

    Wow!That's just plain scary!Are republicans that desperite?

    October 11, 2008 11:33 pm at 11:33 pm |
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