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. cindy

    usa is so weird with this religious stuff. seriously, if any political leader in europe would have a religious leader cheerleading for him, he would lose all elections...because there the church is not accepted within the political process, period.

    but in the usa, it is the other way around. usa is like the iran of the western world. look at this guy talking to his imaginary friend challenging the other imagunary friends of other religions...it's like, my dad is stronger than yours and he will whoop his butt....

    grow up usa.

    October 12, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  2. Erik, RGV, TX

    I think that minister is stupid! Being that God Almighty (The God who created the Heavens and the Earth and sent His Son Jesus to die on a cross for the sins of the world) is a sovereign God, shouldn't we as Christians just put our faith in Him, that no matter who becomes the next president, that we should just trust that God is still the one in control? Why are so many Christians so worried about who becomes the next President? In God we should trust...don't you think? (BTW, I'm still undecided...)

    October 12, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  3. Stream Of Consciousness

    Wow....here we go with the religion again. As an atheist who knows some of the history and ideals behind the bible..I can firmly say that if there were a god overlooking this planet, I'd imagine he/she would not want a war monger like McCain OR an intolerant extremist like Palin in office.

    October 12, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  4. New Yorker

    Well, if Obama wins maybe it will be God is fulfilling his former pastor's desire when he said, "God d- America."

    October 12, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  5. WRC

    So I guess the Republican logic is that our (USA) God can kick your (rest of world) Gods' butt. Nice way to play in the sandbox. And they wonder why so many people have a negative view of America.

    October 12, 2008 12:17 am at 12:17 am |
  6. Shannon

    There is so much stupidity indicated in this blog entry, but to just point out two things –

    a.) "Hindu" is not the name of any deity. A person who practices Hinduism is Hindu. Way for the crazy pastor to say ridiculous things about other religions while being completely uneducated.

    b.) To be Arab is a specific ethnicity. Was the person trying to say that Obama is a Muslim? There are Arabs who are Muslim and Arabs who are Christian, just like there are Western Europeans who are Jewish and Western Europeans who are atheist! Again, the profound stupidity is ridiculous.

    October 12, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |

    I'll pray............I pray that this nation will not spiral down into the past, a past when Christian churches were segregated, where Christian dogma was twisted to rationalize discrimination and terrible treatment of blacks, hispanics, Native Americans, gays, women and any other segment of our population those in power wanted to dominate.

    McCain and Pahlin are encouraging....sponsoring hateful rhetoric, taking this country backward to achieve their goals. SHAME ON YOU JOHN MCCAIN, SHAME on the Christian conservatives aka closet racist/sexist/homophobes. The closer we get to the election, the more bolden the hate-filled conservatives will become, God Help Us!!

    October 12, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. WE ARE ALL AMERICANS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Are we trying to change the first amendment that says "THE RIGHT OF FREEDOM OF RELIGION" and besides if someone is bearing an arab name doesn't mean you are a muslim and this is united state where we have different people from different cultures, religions and tribes and we all called ourselves an americans.
    To become president of united state doesn't say you have to be certain religions, cultures or tribes it says" YOU HAVE TO BE NATIVE BORN AND AT LEAST 35 YEARS OLD AND HAVE LIVED IN THE UNITED STATE FOR 14 YEARS". Barack Hussein Obama is 100% qualified to be president of this country which i believed is going to be.

    October 12, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. horace

    these hippa cricted ministers are two face. preach oneway and act another way . The lord said forgive, not hate. I guest when these mimisters are better then everybody. Well I got news for them, GOD will show them!!! OBAMA is gonna win this election.

    October 12, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  10. Anonymous

    It's not only non christians around the world that want him to win, it's the whole world that wants him to win. But then again if they want Obama to win they must not be real christian, they have must not even be human. Hey I figured it out !!! The whole world population are terrorists (including more than half of America).
    I really try to understand my neighbor. And as a christian I really try to forgive them. But Lord please enlighten these idiots because it's getting real hard to forgive them.

    October 12, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  11. Mike

    I attended this particular rally and heard these comments. The pastor is essentially calling "God" out on this election if Barack Obama wins. Furthermore, this pastor is presuming that "God's" reputation rises or falls with the fortunes of the GOP. I think that qualifies as blasphemy.

    October 12, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  12. John

    The ridiculous implication is that John McCain is "God's candidate." George Bush cast himself as such, and got the overwhelming majority of votes from white fundamentalist Christians. Now look at the mess we are in. His administration's lies, deception, and use of torture and indefinite detention without trial, would not seem to me to be pleasing in God's eyes. I"You shall know a tree by its fruits." ...'nuff said.

    Christians of any denomination can find good reasons to support Barack Obama–or John McCain. Perhaps a more appropriate election prayer is "Thy will be done."

    Congrats to John McCain for distancing himself from this nonsense.

    October 12, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  13. S. Boatman

    Im A Christian . . . And I Pray That Obama Wins!

    October 12, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  14. What

    As a born again Christian I am at a lost of words. What is going on with our religious institutions. Arnold Conrad doesn't represent the views of my Evangelical friends whatsoever. I am not trying to say that there aren't any left wing religious nuts out there but come on.

    That's why we are going thru this financial crisis right now. Though foolishness, malarkey and downright excesses contributed to it.

    Whether you are left, right, center white, black, hispanic, native american, red, white, and blue we fall and rise as a nation. The evangelical church is losing its influence throughout the world because of individuals like this guy,

    October 12, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  15. San Diego

    Last time I checked there was a separation of church and state/ freedom of religion...
    I just think it's sad how many Americans are ill-informed and are ignorant to anything other than their community and church.

    October 12, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  16. mark

    Glad to see them being Jesus to the world... man, what would Jesus REALLY do?? certainly not this

    October 12, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  17. Coby

    Typical black and white, us vs them, good vs evil mentality that the Republican party has been using to motivate the conservative base for years. Arnold Conrad is giving McCain supporters the exact same "our God vs their God" rhetoric that Islamic terrorists tell their followers.

    October 12, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  18. Independent Joe

    Now this just tops way above all the Stupid and baseless attacks we've had to endure. Implying you're non-christian and or you want a man who promotes non-christianity in the White house. WoW!!! Un-Freaken-Believable.

    Send the Alaskan Screech Owl who deservedly got boo'd at an NHL game and predict will at the Nascar event coming up and her sugar daddy home so we can get on with the real business of America

    October 12, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  19. ed

    God comes in many forms Arnold Conrad. God is everything and God is everywhere. And the most important thing is that God is Love and Love is your very being.

    October 12, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  20. dem in NE

    I never realized there were still so many scary, crazy "people" in this country......and then there's all the lemmings that follow them. How can this man call himself a minister?

    October 12, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  21. Mike from Dallas

    Wow.... ignorance is everywhere. I am a christian and I'm voting for Obama!!!

    October 12, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  22. Ian

    I heard that McCain is a Muslim. Has anyone else heard this?

    October 12, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  23. Clay V

    Senator Obama says a lot of good things and if he was running against anyone else I would probably be on the band wagon but a few years ago I was having problems and getting the run around from government agencies so I wrote a letter to my states Senator and was amazed I got a reply with help to find out what I needed,sinse then I have met other arizonans who had the same experience.John McCain knows who he works for,not only that,this is a man has been crippled and maimed fighting for his country,Hes been around long enough to know what is best in this worst time of crisis.It would be wrong to support anyone else from where I stand.

    October 12, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  24. John mKKain and he has no message

    all of the racist and nut job extremist support McCain....and they say Obama supporters are drinking the kool aid. they say that they are not racist...they just dont like Black people....it is no wonder though, i expect that from McCain...thank God there are some good white folks

    October 12, 2008 12:21 am at 12:21 am |
  25. rob

    Bwaaaa-haaaaa-haaaaaa! They've pandered to the lunatics and now they can't stop the campaign from spiraling out of control. Thanks, McCain and Ms. Palin for handling Obama the election.

    October 12, 2008 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
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