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. Boise, Idaho

    When is McCain actually going to have his campaign stop these comments? Are you kidding me that they don't know what a person is going to say at "their" rally! When are they going to stop the "fear tactics" and actually deal with the issues this country is facing! It is ridiculous!

    Obama 08!

    October 11, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  2. Shiva

    Incidentally, "Hindu" isn't a god. More of a religion, last I checked.

    October 11, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  3. Kathy in CT

    Well, clearly the McCain campaign has done its usual crack job of circulating the news, proclaimed by THEIR candidate, that personal attacks are not appropriate.

    I thought McCain's seemingly shocked behavior yesterday, followed by his words about being decent and respectful, were just an act. . . . . . . and clearly, that was correct.

    The only good news out of all this is that John McCain, war hero, honored American, blah blah blah blah blah - is exposed for what he is. A liar.

    October 11, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  4. JoJo from Ohio

    There are some sick people in this world.

    October 11, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  5. Commoner

    This has to be the most illogical thing I have ever heard and more importantly who cares? Is this really news?

    October 11, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  6. Irv

    I'm a christian and i am voting for obama. People please stop dividing this great land of our's. You might not like the guy but please don't hate him. Let's keep the angry under control

    October 11, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  7. labman57

    Non-Christians prefer Obama? Probably true.
    But so do most Christians. Since when, in this country of equality, where freedom of religious expression is a Constitutional right, is being a non-Christian a bad thing? Do Christians have more validity and value than people of other religions?

    Sounds a bit ELITIST if you ask me...

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  8. Arjun

    If the real God is truly loving, then it is obvious he has provided infinite ways to sustain the spiritual basis of each human irrespective of his/her culture and religion. One Transdential entity experienced in infinite ways across various culures and religions. This is the Hindu view. The evangelical minister is a victim of his dogma and does not understand that all humanity prays to the same God in diverse ways.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  9. Dhiiq

    Another McLost enthusiastic supporter! What a crowd!

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  10. Cynthia

    I know that God doesn't hear a sinner's prayer. This is no exception. This minister and hateful supporters are in the same category as those who pray to those other gods – They are all HYPOCRITES!!!.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  11. Alex

    He is right! I am an atheist and I want Obama to win because the last thing we need is four more years of xtian zealots.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  12. Diana Carrington - Wellsboro PA

    If McCain/Palin win we will all be praying to God for help.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  13. dan bertolett

    And a man like this actually gets to preach to people every Sunday–how very sad.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  14. Mike from Calgary


    The Evangelical may be correct ... people of all religions (including Catholics like Joe Biden and Christians like Barack Obama) are supportiing the Democrats. The Republicans have even turned off Pro-lifers like me. The McCain/Palin campaign is a disgrace. The Minister would seem to come from the Divided States of America, or the Segregated States of America, NOT from the UNITED States of America.
    The Minister is a disgrace to the Christian faith he touts and a disgrace to America.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  15. independent voter

    This is really sad and wrong, I consider myself a political junkie, but I HATE when anyone, from the left or right, feel that they must use the lanuage of hate and the "us vs. them" approach. Do you really hate other people that much, just because they disagree with you? Do you think that attitude makes America the great place everyone believes it to be?

    This negativity is really bumming me out, I hope it ends after the election (I don't expect it to before then), but all I really see it working on is the bases of the party (excites the R, while frustrating the D) but I don't see how any undecided (but somewhat intelligent) voter would be attracted by this, I hope this proves to be a very bad, and losing strategy for McCain and it really changes people's impression of Palin.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  16. Helen

    The God I believe in would never condone the Mcain-Palin brand of campaigning.

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  17. Sad

    Wow...this is so sad. Where is the love in the U.S. of A.?

    October 11, 2008 11:41 pm at 11:41 pm |
  18. Ronald

    Sign of how sickening McCain is. They didn't distance themselves at all they only gave an attack on another subject. McCain is running a divisive hatefilled campaign. Pray this doesn't lead to violence.

    October 11, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  19. jp

    The Bible say that we are all God children, not just white people – but the we do know there are many devil worshippers – such as the people that attend these mccain rallies

    October 11, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  20. Christians for OBAMA

    It's Christians like that that make Christians like me SICK! You are the reason that the world is going to hell and you will answer to God for it. Dividing, Judging, – the Obama campaign has run a MUCH more christian campaign than the McCain campaign – and my CHRISTIAN born again family will be voting for Obama – And encouraging everyone we know to do the same. How DARE you think you've got the only line to God – you Pharasee. Jesus through you out of the temple then and he'll do it again this time for your self righteous arrogance.

    October 11, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. Sean

    When is McCain going to come out and change the tenor of his campaign? This is the same junk that Bush pulled on him in 2000. Looks like he sold his soul to win. I've lost a lot of respect for McCain these past few weeks.

    October 11, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  22. Rosie

    There are many Christians praying that the good Christian man who is Barack Obama will win this election too. But it is beside the point, what this minister did is not something that the Christ I believe is my Lord and Savior and that I believe Barack Obama has also accepted would want to hear in a prayer. Our Lord said love your neighbor, love your enemy. I hear only hate. Hate is the devil's work. Who has your heart with this sort of hatred, God? I think not.

    October 11, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  23. JP

    I guess we'll see who has the most clout with God, Christians or non-Christians.

    October 11, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  24. ha

    as a Christian who is voting for Obama, these sort of ridiculously ignorant comments make me sick.

    October 11, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  25. Tony in Atlanta

    This entire thing has gotten so ugly. I will be glad when it is over. When did making your personal presidential choice make you less of a Christian, patriotic, reasonable, understanding and/or American. This all has to stop.

    I am comfortable in saying that my decision was made on the issues and I love my GOD and country just as much as the next person!

    October 11, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
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