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. kevin

    You are a hollywood want a be if you are for Obama. Now the race issue is coming out. I was waiting for that. Every time John McCain says something about Obama's character he is wrong for that however Obama can say what he wants about John. You are are bunch of weak, non American P*&&^'s. Vote for John ND BE REl. Don't be a B*&^h.

    October 12, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  2. KO

    Fortunately, God doesn't listen to intolerant jerks like this.

    October 12, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  3. K For Obama

    What's wrong with these people??? There is nothing Christian about them. They spew hate and venom at anyone that is different than them. How about a prayer like this – God, if it be your will, help us to better understand the diverse world around us as we pray for all peoples and their religions. Amen.

    October 12, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  4. independent

    This is ridiculous. I don't believe we're still in America. Stupid Mccain tactics.

    October 12, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  5. Ed

    Christian, Muslim what does it matter and as American why should I care. The founding fathers of our country must be rolling in their graves. They would find any religious litmus test repugnant. Even more recent American leaders such as Sen. Barry Goldwater made strong statements to this effect. It is unfortunate that today we are so poorly informed about our past. As John Adams wrote in the opening lines in the treaty with Tripoli in 1796: "As the government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion....." This treaty was drafted during George Washington's presidency and latter signed by John Adams.

    It is time that we stop and look back to understand why separation of church and state is part of our constitution.

    October 12, 2008 01:38 am at 1:38 am |
  6. G. Crawford

    During one of McCain's recent rally, when I heard on TV an elderly woman commented "that she would not vote for Obama because he's an Arab." Is our Country "The United States of American" going backwards in time? McCain/Palin campaign is at fault for that woman's comment. Because they continue to run negative Ads and provide INCOMPLETE FACTS of Obama.
    GET REAL, MCCAIN/PALIN BOTH OF YOU DON'T GET IT DO YOU. YOU DON'T HEAR WHAT THE PEOPLE OF THIS COUNTY IS SCREAMING ABOUT. IT'S CALLED THE ECONOMY. [FACT] . I as voter do not have time for this naming calling childish attitudes. Just think the mess we will be in if both of you get elected. It will be HELL!

    October 12, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  7. Devoted christian from Ohio

    Obama is a Christian and has been for a long time,I prayed with thousands if not millions of people at one of his rallies over the weekend in Ohio. It just goes to show how simular Mc Cain and Bush are with the same political strategies, however John Mc Cain is not that good at it. The people are tired of the tricks of the GOP and thanks to the media( for once) better educated on issues and facts! So Thanks CNN for cutting the bull and getting it right this year in a very Historically important election !


    October 12, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  8. Shiva

    THE most stupid act I have seen... "Their GOD" and "Our God", huhh... are they really God believers?

    October 12, 2008 01:39 am at 1:39 am |
  9. Shiva

    And why bring "Hindu" , "Buddha" into the topic... highly irrelevant... and highly idiotic....

    October 12, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  10. MM from the mainland

    Using religion in this way, is not the way Christians should use it. It is equivalent to rationalizing that God must hate poor people because they don't have any money or that people who vote for Obama are Anti-Christian. It is insulting on the highest order.

    October 12, 2008 01:40 am at 1:40 am |
  11. caywen

    I suppose at some point, Americans of different faiths will get in a rocket ship and travel to another planet to flee the persecution of American WASPs. I suppose at some point, those colonies will revolt and declare their independence from the very country who declared their independence from the very same persecution.

    Or we could be better than that and be the country we're supposed to be.

    October 12, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  12. NC

    McCains non-christian crowd want Obama to win,they are the ones calling out names,saying hateful things ,yet calling themselves christians,are they the same christians who bought about slavery and killed so many blacks who only wanted equal rights in the US I thought those days were over and John McCain and Sarah know exactly what they are doing,he sure know how to go back to the past

    October 12, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  13. Charles, Mississippi

    I prefer to hear my sermons in church, and political speeches on the stump.

    Whatever happened to seperation of Church and State. And I ask you – does this Church pay taxes?

    October 12, 2008 01:41 am at 1:41 am |
  14. Mary

    I am a Christian, who believes that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and I am voting for Obama. Don't you think that God has other things to worry about than this petty election?! I know quite a few Christians who will be voting for Obama because what these "Christians" are doing is very un-Christian like. Jesus wanted tolerance and caring for one another... in this sense, do you think this is what Jesus would want us to do?

    October 12, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  15. kevin

    What do you have to say? You race card playing smucks?

    October 12, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  16. djak

    So then I guess our country, which was founded on the premise of freedom of religion, isn't the same country anymore? I didn't know that being a Christian was a requirement to vote for the United States president. When did this become a law? By the way, this Christian DOES want him to win.

    October 12, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  17. biggkross


    October 12, 2008 01:42 am at 1:42 am |
  18. dannette

    We are tired of the hate! Obama is a unifier and McCain And Palin want to divide! No, how No, Way! No, McCain!!

    October 12, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  19. John

    Things like that make me ashamed to be an American.

    Dear World,

    Religious nut jobs, who are ignorant and cant see past their own nose, do not represent the majority of our population.

    Half-Way Intelligent Americans

    October 12, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  20. Owen in Canada

    Your election is really getting creepy.

    October 12, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  21. Harry Plummer

    I have always wondered about the religous loons in the Us. The latest invocation by the minister is proof positive they are mentally ill.

    October 12, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  22. Mike in Seattle

    Obviously this minister has not had adequate Obama Kool Aide. Doesn't he know that this country cannot move to socialism unless Obama is elected so he can partner with Nancy and Harry to implement their socialist programs and raise taxes and make the government all powerful?

    October 12, 2008 01:43 am at 1:43 am |
  23. Evangelical for OBAMA

    Most of the young evangelicals like myself are clearly for OBAMA.

    JESUS was known for what He was for and not for what He was against.

    Today, McCain, Palin and the GOP define themselves for what they are against. Right now, they say "we are against OBAMA". This notion of demonizing other as far as it can be from JESUS!

    In contrast, OBAMA wants to be known for what he is for: HOPE, CHANGE, ...

    By the way, many Christians see Bush today as a wolf in sheep clothing. He said in 2004 that he was a christian. And then once he won the election, he started to lie about eveything...

    October 12, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  24. Paul E.

    I'm a Christian.
    I'm an American.
    I'm a former Republican.

    And I'm praying that Obama wins.

    October 12, 2008 01:44 am at 1:44 am |
  25. Bill

    It is truly amazing that we still have these kind of sick disgusting people spreading nonsense and hatred. What is even more disturbing is the amount of people who continue to buy into it

    my god is bigger than your god so, BOOM! Thats the essence of religion.

    October 12, 2008 01:45 am at 1:45 am |
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