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. AR

    If Barack Obama had John McCain's [lack of] character, he would have changed his middle name, or his entire name for that matter, to something more "palatable" long before running for president. But fortunately for us, the next president of the United States IS a man of character.

    October 12, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  2. Ashamed to be a Democrat

    Well it's true. So what's the point?

    October 12, 2008 01:27 am at 1:27 am |
  3. Lis

    I bet you Mccain knew exactly what was going to be said. Mccain showed up later on purpose so he can claim he wasn't there or didn't know. he doesn't want to take the responsibility. This is how he will treat the country if elected. The Mccain compaign needs to stop putting these useless statements after each incident and start apologizing out loud over the speakers to every crowd they address each day for each of these incidents. Only then these shameful and inticing tactics will end. Some Americans are smart and know better not to take Mccain Palin seriously, but some are naive and believe everything they hear.
    It's also the media's job to start filtering and sensoring instead of showing it over and over...
    So much for the feedom of press that we worship. .

    October 12, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  4. stanjz

    The Republican Party leaders have used religion for a long time now. Christians in Europe are also parying for a win by Barack. I'm Christian and I'm praying for a win by Barack. The GOP uses abortion for votes and does nothing to prevent unwanted pregnancies which would cut down drastically on abortion immediately. The one thing the GOP does get done is tax cuts that mostly benefit the rich and hurt the rest of the country.

    October 12, 2008 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  5. Ben Orr

    I'm a Christian man and I have to say I don't like the way God is thrown around so often, like a pet at our beck and call. God is bigger than any mere man. He does not take sides, and if He does, who are we to make those decisions for Him? Many of you who read this (if indeed anyone does) may not believe in an Almighty, All-powerful God, which is certainly your prerogative, but know that this is not an accurate portrayal of the faith many Christians cling to. My God is not constrained by human politics, and can work through whatever means He chooses. Who are we to chain Him?

    October 12, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  6. Neil

    This country can't be that backwards. People really should educate themselves.

    October 12, 2008 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  7. John

    On the one hand, I'm happy that the McCain campaign is seeing itself be consumed by the monster they themselves helped create, however, I have empathize a little bit because I would hate to be in the position they are right now. Only a genius could win this battle for them. Everything that could go wrong has gone wrong for them.
    This wasn't all the McCain campaigns fault however. I think "reporters" like Sean Hannity should be taken down from the air because it has been because of that kind of journalism that hate has been able to spread so quickly. Though fox claims that it is opinionated journalism and that it is thus labeled that way, it is clear that many radical gop members take it as objectve reporting. It's understandable that Sean Hannity wants high ratings, but he shouldn't have sold his soul in order to get it.

    October 12, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  8. caliwmn760

    Christians need an Obama win! We need a real Christian in office, and not more hypocrites. Thou shall not lie. Thou shall not kill. Obama never killed anyone. Keep abortion out of it, because Obama never had one of those either. Jesus said to help the poor. Do not judge others, or be judged. What a woman wants to do with her own body is her own business. Worry about the LIVING sons and daughters DYING today over lies that your GOP President told and your nominee keep telling.

    October 12, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  9. Mary

    Hey, Watch out what you pray for
    I remember James Dobson praying for rain for the acceptance speech that Obama was giving in Denver...not a flood, just enough to ruin the event.... Somehow I remember perfect weather but.....
    The Republican convention was delayed because of the Hurricanes in the south....Ummmm makes me wonder if praying for bad things result in bad things happening to the person who prayed them.

    Shame on you. No true Christian would think of such a thing.

    October 12, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  10. Sonja

    I really wish that "Christians" would learn more about their own religion and the other religions of the world, maybe even a little foreign language courses so they can learn that Allah is actually God just like Yahweh is. Perhaps if they would do a little research and reading they could learn that God goes by many names.

    October 12, 2008 01:30 am at 1:30 am |
  11. eric in La Quinta, CA

    Those Christians like pastor Conrad, need to ask themselves if the Jesus they pray to is the one represented by the sacrificial alter Cane created or the sacrificial alter created by Abel. I suspect that pastor Conrad better check which Jesus he is professing. Take note – Satan is an Angel of Light.

    Oboma – Biden : 08/12

    October 12, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  12. Sipan zagrosi

    Religion is a Poison. Please America Vote Obama and lets move this country forward....Do not mix religion and Politics

    October 12, 2008 01:31 am at 1:31 am |
  13. A. Los Angeles

    NEWSFLASH TO MINISTER: There are a lot of Christians praying for an Obama victory too!

    October 12, 2008 01:32 am at 1:32 am |
  14. fmr. Hillary Supporter now for McCain

    And he's right too. those who don't believe in God want Obama presidency.

    Those who do want McCain to win.

    Do the Math, Obamalovers.

    This black democrat is voting for McCain like it or not.

    McCain/Palin '08

    October 12, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  15. jagdish, Bellevue, WA

    how sick is the society ?

    October 12, 2008 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  16. fmr. Hillary Supporter now for McCain

    And he's right too. those who don't believe in God want Obama presidency.

    Those who do want a McCain

    Do the Math, Obamalovers.

    This black democrat is voting for McCain like it or not.

    McCain/Palin '08

    October 12, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  17. ET from OMAHA

    I can't believe in the 21st century there are still some extremist chritians in america. Very sad

    October 12, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  18. Wynter

    How dare he call us Non Christians? Utterly shameful! Differing opinions does not make one a Christian or not. This intolerance is the trademark of McCain's campaign. We don't need it nor want it in our government.

    Just another reason to vote for Obama.


    October 12, 2008 01:34 am at 1:34 am |
  19. ket


    October 12, 2008 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  20. Greg, San Francisco, CA

    Ignorance and vitriol are a dangerous combination. Muslims worship the God of Abraham as do Jews and Christians. This is not only an attack on Barack Obama but also on the other major religions of the world. That 'Minister' should be ashamed of himself – but I'm betting he's not.

    October 12, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  21. Davis

    Well, McCain's camp has tried everything else. They can't come up with a compelling message on just about any national issue, so it's time to look to a higher authority. I recall that Republicans prayed for it to rain on the Democratic Convention in Denver, and look what actually happened. The weather was marvelous.

    The higher authority may be less conservative than some might have hoped.

    October 12, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  22. Kit Wilson

    Will the wingnuts of America gag on their own poison of hate?
    You people are TOAST. Repeat, TOAST.
    Get used to it.

    October 12, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  23. mike

    well im a christian and im pro life and im proudly and loudly voteing obama and democratic this year why ?. becouse i have come to see there is nothing pro life about the reboblican party there wars have killid hundreds of thousands of people in iraq innocent people what about theirs and their childrens right to life you hypocrits discust me you realy do . the republican party is the pro death party miss palin knows this . how can any christian that is pro life vote for these war mongering killers we call republicans . MIKE CHRISTIANS FOR OBAMA .AND THE DEMOCRATS IN 08 .

    October 12, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  24. case

    Wow, just wow.... Just when you thought this election couldn't get more heated.

    October 12, 2008 01:36 am at 1:36 am |
  25. Samantha

    It's stuff like this that shocks me. I simply just don't understand how someone could say something like that. The ignorance is astounding.

    October 12, 2008 01:37 am at 1:37 am |
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