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. Johnny

    Separation of church and state ....anyone???

    October 12, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  2. Anonymous

    I think McCain had a chance, till he decided to go for the ultra-christian sector.

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  3. SleeplessInSeattle

    Shame on you, John Sydney McCain The Turd!

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  4. Steve California

    And now the republican campaign is going to try to connect Obama to the Muslim faith ... and then connect him to a terrorist ... and say he is a radical Muslim. How desperate are they now???

    Barak Obama: a good Christian man running for President.

    Stop using fear to try to get into the White House. If your policies are not good enough to get you there, you shouldn't be there!

    Obama 08

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  5. Kevin W. Riley

    Are you freakin kidding me? When is McCain gonna get control over these nutcases that are following him around? Racist, delusional haters are his new base.

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  6. John Lee Duger MSW, M. Div., D. Min., D. Pastoral Care

    I hope that our Prayers would be ones that would NOT get political.
    There are those of us that want Senator Obama to be President.
    I find your Prayer to be NON Christian. This election is in God's hand. I ask Him for HIS WILL TO BE DONE. I am just a humble Chaplain that
    works with those in addiction. That is my calling. My Personal
    opinion, is to go with Obama, a CHRISTIAN. I chosse that over
    the NON Christiian act's of Richard Cheney and George Bush.
    I was tsught that we should turn our swords into "Plow Shears."
    You seem to be so in the pocket of the right wing Militia and not
    one in the main stream of "what is right for America."
    May He Bless us and May his Face Shine upon us.
    An Instrument of His Peace.

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  7. word_onstreet

    Moronic McCain supporter...invoking God as a strategy...and asking 'HIM' to guard his own 'reputation'...

    Republicans must be proud... and no wonder McCain is trailing..with supporters like these, who would need Carl Rove and his tactics...

    I am a Christian and I support Brack Obama... !!!

    That ONE '08

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  8. JR - PA

    Some things are simply a matter of interpretation. Could it be that peoples of other lands and faiths see our younger Presidential candidate as hopeful and looking forward because they fear another Republican Administration? Could it be that they are watching the media coverage and see the Republican candidate as inconsistent and possibly even frightening given his immediate bluster after the Georgia incident (as he did not even wait to see what the current Administration's position on it was). McCain reacted in a threatening manner without any apparent thought to what results it may trigger. That response in addition to his statements that he would continue the occupation of Iraq indefinately and considers that we should implement the same policies in dealing with Afganistan. Maybe the peoples of the world do not see the Republican candidate as inclined to work with other countries in moving forward with energy alternatives and ecological issues affecting the world. Maybe they see Obama as a leader that will work toward the re-establishment of world diplomacy and treat other soveriegn nations respectfully. And, maybe they want to be able to respect the United States again and look to us for world leadership and a positive future, and not have to fear a demagogue and despot.

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  9. Tennille Merkle

    "Hindu" is not a god. Buddhists do not pray to Buddha or any other god. (I'm a Buddhist.) If he is so obviously ignorant of world religions, how can he purport to know what their members pray for?

    October 12, 2008 12:33 am at 12:33 am |
  10. mike

    I bet there are more Christians in the United States praying for an Obama win than there are haet-filled hypocrite republiCON 'christians' praying for a McCain win.

    October 12, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  11. JackieO

    LOL. These folks don't learn! They prayed for rain on Obama’s speech at the DNC convention and the sky was clear and the evening was beautiful while at the RNC a hurricane hit and they were out of sorts. LOL. Hey idiots wake up!!! All that you are "praying" for is not going to happen!!! Your type of BS is a joke and only serves the type of people who follow a destructive, nasty bunch of folks who will lie, and cheat their way in public office!!! Enough of you!

    October 12, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  12. Bob Whitford

    As a Christian, I find this injection of faith into politics degrading to my religion, and the appeal to fear on the part of people supporting the McCain campaign as dangerous to our democracy.

    October 12, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  13. Corey T Boone

    That's just weak. I'm a devout Chrisitan, and I'm praying to God that Obama WINS!!!!!

    October 12, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  14. John S

    Former pastor of Grace Evangelical Free Church in Davenport Arnold Conrad, I have a little news for you. I am a Christian, and a Roman Catholic white male at that. Why don't you try and tell me i'm not a Christian either. I am even more of a Christian than what you are Sir. l. You are no Christian in the eyes of God Sir, not even close to one. Christians do not hate the way you do and out and out lie about someone when you know in your heart you are guilty of doing wrong. It doesn't matter what you do against Mr Obama at the moment Mr Conrad,he will win anyway, but in the end, you know that your sin is against God himself, not Obama and your guilt and sentence will come the day you meet your true Christian Maker. Christians live amongst and love their fellow man Mr Conrad. They do not accuse them falsely or mistort facts about them. Chistianty Mr Conrad is something that I believe eludes you completely. I suggest you sit down and have a good look at your faith Mr Conrad and believe me when I say this., You have a lot to learn about loving thy neighbor, and bearing false witness as I have heard from some of your Christian ????supporters in the McCain and Palin rally. You probably have noticed that I have been calling you Mr Conrad instead of Pastor Conrad. When you learn to act like one Sir, I will gladly bestow that respected title on you, not till then.

    October 12, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  15. JKT

    This is beyond un-American. It should be offensive to anyone of any nationality, creed, and race. Earlier, McCain denounced comparisons between his rallys and George Wallace racism of the past. THIS IS WORSE. McCain needs to withdraw his call for Obama to denounce the Wallace comparison and look in the mirror. McCain and the GOP are dividing this country and if they have their way, we'll break down into warring factions as we had during the civil rights movement of the 60's. It's unconscionable.

    October 12, 2008 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  16. Ms, Pamela

    Some one please tell the minister that Obama is a Christian and prays to the same God "he" prays to, if we are in fact praying to the one true living God. Now if Obama folk are praying for him and you are asking people to pray for McCain, since we are all believing bible reading Christians, let's just see who prayer the God answers.

    October 12, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  17. cmars

    This is just ridiculous. This outright discrimination towards other faiths (which are a big part of America's diversity, incidentally), not to mention their completely ridiculous focus on his middle name, not only insults Americans by implying they're stupid enough to believe this crud, it only stands to heighten the negative image America has on the world stage. You know why the other religions are praying for Obama to win? Because they know it's the ONLY CHANCE FOR WORLD PEACE. They know that if Palin and McCain take over (let's list her first because we all know she'll take over), more wars will follow and more enemies will be realized. Electing Obama will neutralize so much frustration towards America and help the country to prosper globally.

    October 12, 2008 12:35 am at 12:35 am |
  18. Smarter than the GOP


    October 12, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  19. David Goodberg

    It's a good thing Churches across this country get our tax dollars, especially when they get all political and stuff.

    October 12, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  20. Nancy

    This is so sad. What is wrong with these people. the GOP should hang it's head in shame.

    October 12, 2008 12:36 am at 12:36 am |
  21. Shane

    man there are a lot of quacks out there!!!

    October 12, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  22. Dave in Washington State

    Oh Dear! This is really getting weird! I am ready for this to end and have Barack Obama as our President.

    October 12, 2008 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  23. A Christian for Obama

    You know, idiots like this are one of the reasons McCain is losing this election. This is not ignorance on their part. Ignorance implies that you don't know. They are downright stupid.

    October 12, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  24. chaimgogol

    Don't worry, God won't get to vote for his candidate McCain because he can't prove his place of residence.

    October 12, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
  25. Caroline

    Whatever happened to separation of church and state? Can't people, for once, think for themselves? This is when religion becomes dangerous.

    October 12, 2008 12:38 am at 12:38 am |
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