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. Pat

    you religious nuts!

    October 12, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  2. CBA1999

    Note to the narrow minded (and you are increasingly showing yourselves for what you are)....the GOP does not have a lock on religion. Moreover, the so called minister seems quite xenophobic, doesn't he?

    October 12, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  3. Obama 08

    If McSain does not denounce the actions of these Jesus freaks he will continue to lose in the polls. These people has serious issues. I love the fact that they these people at the ralley are voting against there best interest. Close minded Stupied people.

    October 12, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  4. Karen - South Africa

    Funny how I have never been to a church where the minister attacked other religions. Last time I checked it was un-christian-like to judge. . . read the bible!
    What has happend to the country that most of the world looked up to.

    McCain/Palin – you have run the most deplorable campaign I have EVER witnessed. You are a disgrace and should quite frankly be told by you Party to get off the stage and take your hoods off!

    The day Nelson Mandela was released from prison, I prayed that God would keep him safe, today I find myself praying that God will keep Barak Obama and his family safe.

    Here's the part that scares me – Nelson Mandela was released into a country that was still governed by the then pro-apartheid NP.
    Barak Obama is the presidential nominee in AMERICA.
    What the hell has happened to your country?

    On one of CNN's sound bites there was a comment from a person in India that stated: "America is voting to make one of these men the most powerful person in the world – I am a citizen of that world"
    That sums up why I feel compelled to say my say.

    Please America – There is enough hate and fear in the world. Make this right. Vote on election day and show the Republican party and McCain/Palin that your country does not need them!

    October 12, 2008 12:05 am at 12:05 am |
  5. Andy

    I am a Christian for Obama.

    All this Rev. is showing is ignorance and selfishness can take the disguise of faith.

    October 12, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  6. Buzz

    I am a born again follower of Jesus Christ and a life long Democrat. Please don't judge us by one Misguided preacher.

    October 12, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  7. Samme

    Religion only plays a role every 4 years. Who do you people think you are? Don't you know you are turning people off to religion? Wolves in sheeps clothing, that's what you appear to be.

    October 12, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  8. taylor adams

    It is not surprising to hear a stupid comment come from somebody that is from the McCain-Palin campaign. First they said that Sen. Obama was a terrorist, then an Arab, then a Muslim, then someone even said to bomb Obama. It was funny to see that lady at John McCain's rally yesterday who tried to say that Obama was an Arab!! That to me was hilarious and probably also hilarious to other Obama supporters!! She just tried to say something that would sound intriguing just to get the crowd going. She wasn't even for sure that Obama was an Arab like she had said that he was. When McCain took the mic from her, she said, "No?", in a very uncertain way. She did not even know that if it was true or not. Evidently, McCain had to tell her and the others that Obama is a good American family man with whom he happens to have dissagreements with. Now to hear this uncertain minister say this is hilarious! I am a Christian and I want Obama to get into office! What does that say to the minister that said that non-Christians are praying for Obama to win. I pray to God all the time to put Obama in the house, and keep McCain out. Maybe he was just ashamed to admit that he knows that people are praying to God to not allow John in office :)!!! Boy I tell ya'....there is always something funny going on with the McCain-Palin campaign LOL!!!

    October 12, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  9. msnola60

    Below is the reason behind Sarah Palin's feeling towards Sen. Obama and may be the reason McCain picked her. After all he did vote against a holiday for Martin L. King.

    Races in Wasilla:
    White Non-Hispanic (83.9%)
    American Indian (9.1%)
    Two or more races (5.9%)
    Hispanic (3.7%)
    Other race (1.3%)
    Black (0.6%)

    October 12, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  10. Eric in SoCal

    “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,”

    This is an hilariously ignorant rant! Where do you start? Not all religions "pray". Hindu isn't actually the name of any particular deity. Allah is, um, the same god he is attempting to pray to.

    Also, beseeching your god to guard his/her reputation because others will think their god is "bigger" is a little like telling your friend that someone called him a punk and if he doesn't do something about it he will look weak.

    This is all nonsense. I wasn't going to vote for Obama over the FISA bill, but McCain and that silly woman he brought on to pick up disaffected Hillary supporters really make me too uncomfortable to stand on the sidelines. For the next few weeks can we ask that the candidates talk about the economy and the two wars we are losing? Please?

    October 12, 2008 12:06 am at 12:06 am |
  11. Connie

    It is unspeakably sad that we have so many ignorant people among the voting public. Go, Barack...all the way to the White House. You are the hope of our future.

    October 12, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  12. Tanya

    How cute! First, arrange for the someone else to say something hateful. Then show up and "distance" yourself from this action.

    October 12, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  13. MJ

    Ok, these people at these rallies are getting really scary.

    October 12, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  14. Russ

    The evengelical "christians" in this country are not christians at all. In fact I believe that they are the worst kind of domestic terrorists. They spread their hate under the guise of religion, they are just sectarians, using god as a cover for their despicable attitudes and acts.

    October 12, 2008 12:07 am at 12:07 am |
  15. Ray

    I'm a Christian and I'm praying for Obama to win. Why?

    "Do unto others...."
    "Call no man 'fool'..."
    "Why worry about the speck of dust in your brother's eye when you've got a plank in your own eye"
    "...But I tell you, anyone who is angry with his brother is subject to judgement."
    "Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

    I would not want anyone leading my country, with the amount of hate in their heart, that McCain and Palin have demonstrated in the last few days.

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  16. Janice Crowley

    What kind of rally's are Mccain and Palin having? Are they having biggot meetings. This is a race for the highest office in the land, during an economic crisis and Wars abroad. What are Palin/Mccain trying to do start a race war? This wasn't happening until Mccain/Palin stirred these people up now there comming out of the wood works. What does this say about Mccains character and judgement. This is a disgrace and Mccain/Palin should be ashamed of themselves. We were having a respectful campaign and now that Mccain is 11 points behind he wants to start a race war thats unamerican. Anybody voting for the Mccain/Palin ticket either are biggots or just stupid.

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  17. lola Parker

    Money is the uniting factor across the board. When the rich is facing loosing their wealth and the poor is facing the unthinkable and we all are looking at hitting rock bottom; race will mean nothing to a mother that can't feed her baby or anything else. I could care less about what either candidate believes or looks like. Where's my money is all I want to know and can anybody answer that.

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  18. Joe

    FYI – there is no god named Hindu. Thankfully, the Bible doesn't talk about Democrats or Republicans. Instead, it talks about truth and grace. Truth found in Jesus; whose perfection neither McCain nor Obama will ever live up to; and grace that we all so desperately need.

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  19. Tara, Seattle


    I was raised by some of these fanatic evangelicals, sometimes they just don't THINK! Their public prayers tend to be HIGHLY judgemental and condemning. Thats just how they are, they see nothing wrong with it. Luckily there are a small majority of the electorate, but they also feed the racists hate.....so it needs to be watched and reported on, thank you CNN.

    Catholics (WHO ARE CHRISTIANS) for Obama/Biden 08/12

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  20. gina

    Non-Christians may want an Obama win, but I believe many Christians do as well. My faith, Roman Catholic, believes in respect for all life and murder as a sin. So I see the most important change our politics needs to accomplish is to pull out of war. War brings the death of Americans and those who we feel are in our way. I wish our government would shift from an antagonistic type to leading by example.

    I feel the better candidate is Barack Obama. I see John McCain as arrogant and hot-headed. I will fear his leadership if he is elected. It could be worse than W. Bush.

    Gina Bausano
    Shelby twp., MI

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  21. florida democrat

    Hmm.. Looks like Arnold Conrad is the head of the Christian Taliban in the US.

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  22. Michael

    The religious freaks truly believe that can influence an invisible man in the sky to take away votes. That goes to show you how truly nutty they really are. It goes to show you how afraid they are of true change that is required for the US to get to some kind of normalcy. GO OBAMA GO.

    See the movie Religulous that Bill Maher put together....its excellent and show religion for what it is really worth...a scam.

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  23. Peter

    These Zealots believe their own fearful blather. If anyone should be praying it is the rest of the country that has had enough of the right wing ingorance fueled abuse of power. After eight years of lies, and policies based on ideological beliefs rather the public interest the fascist are concerned. The rest of the country does not want book burners and intolerant fanatics running the show any longer. Deal with It ! Hope is overcoming fear, look around you and be afraid very afraid. Boo! Haloween is coming.

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  24. Americainyes

    John McCain and Sarah Palin need all the prayers. PRAY YOUR HEARTS OUT! Anything can change between now and Election. God can change things!! BELIEVE! There is HOPE!

    October 12, 2008 12:09 am at 12:09 am |
  25. M. S Redmond WA

    Hello! Are non-Christians not allowed to vote or what? McCain and Palin and their dont make sense neither does pastor Arnold Conrad..

    Vote Obama/Biden 2008
    Obama/Biden 2008

    October 12, 2008 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
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