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. joe 6pack

    Great when the McBush drive economy to ground they can pray for food and water too. Hope lord will provide them as well. Who needs a job anyways when lord provide all things needed.

    October 12, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  2. Bearing False Witness

    Wow – once again we see the sheer ignorance and intolerance of McCain and Palin cultists. You are Christians? You think McCain and Palin are real Christians? Adultery, fraud, greed, hate-crime language against their Democratic opponents....is your view of Christianity?

    I don't what religion you actually practice but it does not resemble the teachings of Jesus and God's love of ALL people – even the misguided like you. The God I know forgives sinners and those that use his name falsely. Perhaps you should be praying for forgiveness and for God to open your minds and your hearts .

    God can even perform miracles to help the "blind to see". Hopefully He will be gracious unto you and let you see the false prophets of hatred and lies entrenched in and spread by McCain and Palin.

    October 12, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  3. Truth Seeker

    These people are just SICK! Fake Christians!!!

    October 12, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  4. Susan, California

    What a bunch of garbage. I am a Christian, and I am voting for Obama because I feel he is the best choice for this Country's President. This is just another example of a comment designed to divide America.

    October 12, 2008 01:21 am at 1:21 am |
  5. Obama '08

    What we all should be afraid of is a group of people, GOP, who pray for the demise of another. To me, that is scary! If you are a Christian, how can you hold so much hate. But know this, the scripture says, "the first shall be last and the last shall be first."

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  6. nat from sc

    McCain’s campaign is becoming more pathetic by the day.

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  7. Hoosiermama

    This is so sad. How is this rhetoric representative of the message of Jesus Christ? I do not understand what is wrong with these people. Will they ever learn to vote with their brains instead of their bibles and bigotry?

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  8. FRAN

    McCain has destroyed everything he has ever worked for along with his career.

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  9. Gabe

    I always find it hilarious when American Christians talk about Allah. Actually I shouldnt be laughing because it is very sad. Allah and God are one and the same. Open up a bible and look for the page with the names of God in different languages or find a christian Arab and ask them how to say God in arabic. They will say Allah. Please stop the ignorance.

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  10. TJ

    Sarah at a rally calling Obama's position on abortion, "really radical", and that was her topic. This minister praying for his defeat to "save his God's reputation". The McCain camp allowing all of it, the terror campaign last week included, and then, after all the damage is done, disavowing it all.

    Where do they find these insane people to conform to their campaign frenetic tactics?

    Every day there is more reason NOT to elect these lunatics into office.

    I believe both of these campaigns should be suspended until election day. Nothing sane or concrete is being offered. It is insane, absolutely insane. Sarah Palin is a manic radical pathetic excuse. I haven't seen any of her Republican female surrogates gushing over her star power this past week.

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  11. Ron , West Coast

    It really amazes me that a minister , or anyone else would have the gall to think that any sane person would believe that crap......
    If the crowd does believe crap like that , that means they`re not sane , in which case , they probably can`t read , and can`t spell their name , meaning they can`t sign their name , ergo , their ballot is invalid ......
    Was the minister Sarah Palin`s from Wasilla ? The one that laid hands upon her to ex-spell the devil from her ? The one who comes from Kenya . Good thing that laying of hands happened in Wasilla Alaska , and not Tupelo Mississippi . I`ll betch cha`.....

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  12. Ken, Republican Voting for Obama

    This is the height of desparation, pray very hard since we are praying to the same God that Obama wins. These guys are unbelievable.

    October 12, 2008 01:22 am at 1:22 am |
  13. SGJ

    Wow the McCain camp is doing everything they can to loose..... All this talk does is work up the nut jobs it far right wing ... BUT unfortunately turns off the center which is who is going to decide the election..

    I cant wait for my universal health care. Thanks Sarah / Karl / Rush et all of the monosyllabic knuckle dragging nascar watchin' troglodytes.

    October 12, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  14. Ons

    What Arnold Conrad does not understand is that the bible warns us against judging other people because then we are doing Gods work or you are telling God that he’s wrong. We as human being we have our own weaknesses but at all cost we should not be judging other people. Obama is a Christian period.

    October 12, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  15. Lois

    The more I listen to these "Christians", the more afraid I get.

    October 12, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  16. Craig Nazor

    McCain is fanning the flames of distrust in our political process as he distributes more and more lies about Barack Obama, and he acts surprised at the result. He cannot see, like George W. Bush before him could not see, that to convince people to misjudge the character of another through lying tears apart our democracy, where the minority party must feel that the election was based on a fair judgement of facts. This misjudgement IN ITSELF is enough to disqualify John McCain from the Office of President of the United States.

    October 12, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  17. Terri Green

    What is this person and many others in that republicain camp thinking. Just goes to show you that ignorance in that camp is so spread abroad. They still don't get it and they never will. Lets just pray for them. Yes, I am a christian. I believe in the Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Now What?! And Im voting for Barack Obama. God will be forever in control.

    October 12, 2008 01:23 am at 1:23 am |
  18. Lex Blanton

    Like errata in newspapers where they will issue a retraction in fine print on the fourth page – once you set a cat among the pigeons you cannot bring them back.

    October 12, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  19. Chip Evans

    "Dear God, please show all these other religions that my God is bigger than their God."" Oh, pulleeaase!

    Lord, deliver us from the religious whackos among us!

    October 12, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  20. felicha

    WOW !!!



    October 12, 2008 01:24 am at 1:24 am |
  21. Garrison, Tukwila, WA

    as a christian, my faith has played an integral role in my decision to vote democratic 4 years ago and, I am 99% sure, in this upcoming election.

    I've seem Obama to be a calm and humble representation of undeserved grace, qualities that reflect wisdom enough to lead our nation. McCain, however, seems less sincere and has continued the increase in misleading ads that portray his opponent poorly. Hopefully, I believe, this nation will rise above petty attacks akin to middle school rumors and elect a more positive, uplifting, and healing candidate.

    October 12, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  22. Idiots rule the world

    “There are millions of people around this world praying to their god—whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah..."

    Hinduism is a religion, not a God. People who make such remarks are not only religious fanatics but they are also appallingly ignorant. This is not a crusade, this is a presidential election.

    I will go vomit now...

    October 12, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  23. Lance

    I think it needs to be pointed out that there is no god named "Hindu". Also, to say that Buddhists either pray to or worship the Buddha is greatly misunderstanding that religion. The lack of understanding demonstrated here of the world's religions makes the obvious disdain for them demonstrated by the invocation that much more difficult to swallow.

    October 12, 2008 01:25 am at 1:25 am |
  24. Brian Pofahl

    This seems to be right in line with the direction that the McCain campaign, the Republican party, and the Christian right are heading. A downward spiral into desperate attempts to portray Barack Obama as someone we should be scared of. We have yet to hear a reference Mr. Obama as the Anti-Christ, but then there are still a few weeks to go before the election, and I would not be surprised. Shame on you all.

    October 12, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
  25. Mark, Washington

    What is it with so-called "Christians" and their preaching the word that it's not right to judge someone, regardless of religion and set of beliefs, yet by becoming a "minister," it suddenly makes them okay to judge a person? That guy needs to do a lot of praying for forgiveness on his part for such slander.

    October 12, 2008 01:26 am at 1:26 am |
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