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)

    I'm a NON-CHRISTIAN and an AMERICAN, and i want Obama to win. Looks like McCain forgot that old country first rhetoric.

    October 12, 2008 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  2. Ron

    Did anyone in this crowd ever think that God might want Obama to win ?

    October 12, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  3. Tom

    I'm Jewish and I want an Obama win. So, since I'm not Christian, am I a bad person?

    October 12, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  4. Robert

    Wow, it's people exactly like this that start 'religious wars' which never lead to anything good, this type of behavior is dangerous to our society. McCain is to old, to far out of touch, and to bent on war to be President of this great country. Obama is the logical choice. That's why our Republican family will be voting for Obama, we're proud to vote for him.

    October 12, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  5. christin

    Wow I wasn't aware that God was exclusive only to the republican patry,,,,I guess if I vote Democratic my salvation will be in question like Palin's pastor said about voting for John Kerry!

    October 12, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  6. Indepedent for Obama

    Here we go again. McCain, make up your mind. Show some leadership and get away from this type of divisive language. Call off your pit-bulls, please?

    October 12, 2008 01:13 am at 1:13 am |
  7. Daniel Keating

    I think some church in Davenport Iowa needs to lose their tax exempt status if they are going to play games like this. A thinly veiled PAC is what they look like

    October 12, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  8. A Hindu

    Does this guy even know anything about HInduism ?

    Yeah..we do pray for Obama to win, because a McCain win would be disaster for America and the whole world economically, socially and politically

    October 12, 2008 01:14 am at 1:14 am |
  9. TEXAS For Obama

    I am a True Christian and I must say that I am in Awe about this prayer! First of all God has no worry about his reputation with man. If you are a Christian, you already know what God can, has, and always will do. It is scary to see the type of people who are out there screaming the name of Jesus and has so much hatred in their hearts. What happened to the seperation of church and state!!

    October 12, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  10. Joe Reed

    Pastor Arnold Conrad:

    You are a disgrace! you are preaching hate! What would Jesus think of you? You call yourself a man of god? Ladies and Gentleman, this is why we must have separation of Church and State so that lunatics like this guy have no say....and to think that we are in the 21st Century..these are not the middle ages folks.

    October 12, 2008 01:15 am at 1:15 am |
  11. Brian B

    So much for freedom of religion. If you are not Christian, you are not welcomed in the US. That's what I read from this. Yes, I'm Christian, and yes, I know Obama is too. Difference is, I don't hate anyone else because they practice a different religion than I do.

    October 12, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  12. Mike

    Senator McCain should have addressed it first thing at the rally. As an American I am absoultely disgusted by the recent actions of all those attending the Senators rallys and there comments directed at Senator Obama. And the same can be said for Governor Palin's remarks and those of the people attending her rallies. These two supposed leaders need to stand up and say this is NOT how it is done in our country. Instead the lack of their leadership and words condeming these actions speak volumes about just how poorly both would govern our great country.

    October 12, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  13. SOLID D

    These people are out of their freaking mind. They're dangerous!!

    October 12, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  14. Bye Bye McCain

    Wow, just wow. Maybe McCain can arrange some kind of battle or the gods, or a religious war to ratchet things up another level. (though you could say we've already got that running in the Middle East right now)

    October 12, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  15. JC

    This is becoming sickening.

    October 12, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  16. Latinos for Obama-Biden

    This Christian wants Obama-Biden in the White House. This preacher needs to get his facts straight.

    October 12, 2008 01:16 am at 1:16 am |
  17. C W

    I'm a Christian and I want Barack Obama to be our next President. I know many Christians who feel the same way and are planning to vote for Obama/Biden.

    October 12, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  18. David McMurray

    So this minister has decided with McCain's support to say Christians would not vote for Obama, a.k.a. Democrats. Somebody better let the Christians that are also Democrats know. Surprise! If you are a democrat, you must not be a Christian.

    October 12, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  19. Owen

    Just notice that McCain himself didn't say that the comments were hateful and plain wrong.

    This is one Christian who is praying for an Obama victory!

    October 12, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  20. Mike

    As a person who has a relationship with Jesus, I'd like to weigh in on this. The mistake many Christians make is to pray that God will bless their will and actions, as this pastor has done. Obviously, the pastor's will is that McCain will be president, and that is reflect in his prayer/statement at this rally. A person wo claims to have a close relationship with Jesus, as this pastor probably would, should really pray that God's will be done, whether is that Obama be president or McCain. To paraphrase Lincoln, we should ask God to be on our side, we should worry earnestly whether or not we are on God's side.

    October 12, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  21. Steve

    What is the big deal about using his name.

    Why is he ashamed of it.

    It is after all

    Barak Hussein Obama

    October 12, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |
  22. duey

    Way to give Christianity a good name, pastor. "My God is better than yours!" Sigh.

    October 12, 2008 01:17 am at 1:17 am |

    Haters. Stop trying to poison the mind of people. Obama is a Christian. And from the way the so called christians speak, he is a true Christian. He is trying to change the world for the better. Not divide like some people. Give he a chance. You gave bush 8 years and look what it got us.

    October 12, 2008 01:18 am at 1:18 am |

    How lovely to see the Republicans resorting to the my god can beat up your god thing yet again. You have to really appreciate that in a country supposedly founded on religious freedom and tolerance, religions other than the mainstream religion are put down on a regular basis. Way to go America!

    October 12, 2008 01:19 am at 1:19 am |
  25. Fred

    What an incredibly IGNORANT man.....


    Jews, Christians and Muslims all believe and pray to the SAME GOD!!!!!

    October 12, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
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