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. Bumfuzzled

    God asks that his people speak and they are speaking up all over the country! This country was build on the belief in God and there are forces working hard to change that. If you believe in God BLESS America...and not the OTHER phrase, then you MUST vote for God's soldier. McCain/Palin 2008

    October 11, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  2. Alan in Elk Grove

    Yes, I would imagine that there are non-Christians world-wide who are supporting the candidacy of Senator Obama including Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, et al. There is a distinct difference between non-Christians and anti-Christians. The article underscores the politics and policies of exclusion rather than embracing and celebrating our differences and togetherness. The time has come to speak out and stop tolerating intolerance...

    October 11, 2008 11:46 pm at 11:46 pm |
  3. Mark Lagomarsino

    It is unfortunate that any Christian pastor would pray for a specific candidate to win the election. We should be praying for both candidates to conduct themselves with a Christian-minded spirit, and also include a prayer for giveness for those who use God as a tool for political gain.

    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  4. gaj

    i don't want to think that americans are this ignorant!

    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  5. jw

    Just another Christian bigot – no big deal.

    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |


    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  7. Pat

    This is Outrageous! McCain can save his comment that he is distancing himself from these Religous Zealots and the worst example of Christians world wide but it doesn't fly for me! McCain and Palin are looking more and more like Anti-Christians the past few weeks! They had better try another spin before they are run out of the US altogether! As purported Christians, I know many muslims who who are more Christ Like then then these two Chamelions! Take the High Road before it's too late!

    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  8. No More Culture War

    No more culture war in politics.
    This is a big job application. We have serious problems in this country, and this culture war nonsense just makes it more difficult for a president to provide leadership to the whole country instead of just choosing one half.

    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  9. Becky

    You can bring your pathetic culture war, McPalinistas but we are ready for it this time and the Youth of America is tired of the American Taliban running the country!

    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  10. JayBee

    As if God is for some people and not for everyone. As McCain's campaign are the only ones who can pray and Obama does not know how to pray for McCain to lose. Worse still McCain is not even a devoted christian.
    God does not listen to prayers from evil people who dwell on spitting vernon, racism and anger. Time will tell McCain and history will judge you harshly.

    October 11, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  11. Winnie in Montana

    What the #%$@? I am a Christian and I want Sen. Obama to win. Maybe because my God and my Jesus are not the partisans that these folks' god is. Jesus himself, at least the Jesus I love, would be saddened at the state of our nation, the hatred spewed by Palin, the divisiveness stirred up by these supposed christians. Yes, that is with a small "c". Nothing these two candidates and their supporters have done make me think that they behave publicly or privately in a Christian manner. Adultery, Sen. McCain, is a sin. Please, sit down and read your Bible!

    October 11, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  12. Ryan

    I really try to block out the religious crap that the Republican party spews out, and just support McCain because of his policies. But lately, crap like this is really starting to get irritating (thank you Palin and thinking that creationism is so important that it needs to be taught to everyone in public schools)

    October 11, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  13. Commonwealth

    I'm a Christian and I am voting for Obama. What's your point , sir? How DARE you.

    October 11, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  14. jaymzz

    I am the Lord your God who brought you out of the land of Egypt out of the house of slavery. Do not have any other gods before me. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I the Lord your God am a jealous God, punishing children for the iniquity of parents, to the third and the fourth generation of those who reject me.. sounds like god must be not just american but also repulican....

    October 11, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  15. tai


    October 11, 2008 11:48 pm at 11:48 pm |
  16. Anthony

    Welcome to America. Where if you're not white nor of the Christian faith, ALMOST anything is possible. ALMOST.

    C'mon Oboma, let's prove them wrong.
    The whole world is watching...

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  17. Georgia Girl

    I am a Christian and I am voting for the man who has not committed adultery, who was not a drunk, and who speaks of his faith...Obama

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  18. BluCanon

    <– I'm a Christian and I'm voting for Obama! I pray to my GOD (Jehovah) that this world gets turned around and that HIS will be done! Ya dig?

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  19. PAT California

    No minister or any other clergyman should preach for or against a political candidate! I would like to see the tax exempt rights taken away from the church he represents. He basically is referring to Obama as a non-christian. Where has he been? Obama is a christian and anyone of any faith or non faith has a right to vote for whomever he/she chooses! There is a federal law against politicing by the clergy. This man BROKE THE LAW and is no better than a common criminal!

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  20. Alexander Campbell

    absolutely disgusting, at least the McCain campaign put out that statement.

    I'd like to point out what the pastor is saying when he speaks "they're going to think that their God is bigger than you" is a way of saying every other religion is wrong, and that followers of other faiths think that their religion is better.

    NEWSFLASH: Christians are the ones who always think that their religion is better and the others are more tolerant of varying faiths.

    I pray to the God I don't believe in that Republicans look at themselves, especially the ones on the religious right, in the mirror and realize why they are hated by others in the country and the world and why their candidate is down 10 points in the polls and losing in every swing state.

    Because you can't win a campaign on bigotry in the year 2008

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  21. OS


    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  22. McCain is going for the lowest!

    Oh good grief. Is this a guy (and gal, wink) that you want as president? The best he can do is THIS nonsense. Desperate, pitiful and lacking leadership. I have always respected McCain, but this campaign is so disjointed and now becoming hateful, I really question his judgement.

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. bill gordon

    They can pray from now to doomsday but Obama has got it in the bag. Many Republicans must be cringing with their self destructing candidate goofing up day after day.

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  24. Patty

    I am a Catholic and I will be voting for Obama. Does that mean my faith and my prayers mean less than those voting for McCain? I have a Budhist friend who will be voting for Obama. Does that mean he will be voting for a God who he thinks is "bigger" than other Gods?" Obama does not need our prayers to win this election because he is a man of honest intentions to heal this country. I do not pray to God to guard his reputation or to help us elect Obama. I pray for God to give support and guidence to whoever is elected.

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  25. Hughes

    These right-wing evangelical nutcases are the root of the divided state of our union. It will be very bad for our country if the likes of Palin abuse power in the executive branch.

    October 11, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 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