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. marvin

    I'm a Christian and I want Obama to win.

    I know Palin is religious, but I find that hard to reconcile with her overtly seductive behavior such as winking at the (male?) audience during the VP debates. The Bible, in both the old testament and the new testament, is quite in its condemnation of women who "use it" to get their way. I think this behavior is a major reason why women do not like her as much as men do. Most women dislike women who flirt with their husbands.

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  2. m smith

    Absolutly discusting. So much for love thy neighbor

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  3. bo

    my god is bigger than your god?????
    Can believe this peoples arguments...

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  4. Kathy

    McCain needs to control his surrogates, because they are helping Barack Obama.

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  5. wowowowow.

    America is slowly backsliding.
    the world is watching.

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  6. texas mom

    My God is an awesome God. He doesn't like folks spreading hate.

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  7. Barbara Pacheco

    I am a christian and I want Barack Obama to be president because John McCain's campaign is promoting racism and hatred.

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  8. I love Yeshua or Jesus

    and I will be voting for Obama. I think republicans do not value what I value anymore. Peace, love, humanity, general concern for the well being of the poor and all people. I really can't stand Christians that teach this crap because this is why people get turned off by the church. You have one candidate living what God teaches and one hypocrite namely John McCain, married more than one wife, lies out both corners of his mouths, cherishes greed and wealth for only rich people, and could careless if I had healthcare or any basic rights to the pursuit of happiness. Lets all join together and teach these hypocrites Gods love me too, and he loves Senator Obama, let it be a landslide for Senator Obama. Amen.

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  9. p1tey1

    WOW! These people are insane. And not to mention insulting to MILLIONS of people of other faiths. I hope they realize some of the people they are insulting ARE AMERICANS and WILL be VOTING in this election!

    Obama/Biden 08!!!

    October 11, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  10. Jay

    Commetnts/prayers like the one in this article are becoming more and more common.

    Recently, according to the Raliegh,NC News and Observer, the Rev. Walter Leake prayed that God would shut up the mouths of those who oppose Senator McCain and Gov. Palin. The language at these rallies is becoming more and more frightening...all in the name of religion, morality and love of country.

    Who, might I ask, made these people the last word in morality, truth and viture?

    I thank God that He is the God loves all, even the narrow minded, the bigotted and the self-righteous.

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  11. Martin (England)

    I think the McCain supporters are confused.

    Satan want's Palin in office because then everyone will hate Jesus and Christians (and blame then for it). Voting Republican is just making Satan's work a little easier.

    Republicans serve Satan. Ronald (6) Wilson (6) Reagan (6).... The beast that brought the evil upon us.

    You cannot serve Jesus and be in the GOP. It's just a simple fact. Sorry to break it to you. God bless 🙂

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  12. rossy

    Are these really true christians? This minister obviously does not know the meaning of beng a christian.

    It is becoming outreageous that McCain and Palin has allowed or have promoted such activities in their campaign.

    Anytime, Iistened to McCain, Palin and their supporters who tend to promote them as children of God or Christians, I am really disgusted at them. Especially Sarah Palin, she promotes herself as a christian but she does not act like one with her lies. God said that "Thou shall not lie" this one commandment she ahs broken several times.

    I know that God that we served as christians don't promote such behaiviour. This minister is a fake minister, a wolf in sheep garment.

    You are so ignorant that you as a minister does not even know that Allah means God in arabic language.

    Whoever this minister is, God will definitely judge you for condemning others.

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  13. Charles Coats

    Ignorance runs deep when FEAR is on the surface!!

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  14. cj

    Arnold Conrad is a bigot and a moron. He is what is dangerous about the religious right. First, Hindus do not pray to "Hindu". There are multiple gods in that religion. A couple of my Catholic friends like Obama, but they don't usually remark that they have asked Jesus for divine intervention. McCain's campaign is smart to distance itself from this idiot. Maybe they should distance themselves from another religious zealot bigot in their campaign, Sarah Palin

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  15. edward mc donald

    as my good friend gomer pyle would say: surprise, surprise, surprise

    one question? who would be McSame's vice-president? sarah or todd

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  16. Colin

    I'm a christian and I want an Obama Presidency.

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |

    Somebody once sad that "Not learning from history is like planting cut flowers" Does anybody remember Germany after the 1st World War and how economic hardship combined with angry, inflammatory rhetoric laid the groundwork for the Nazis? What other lesson do we need to teach us NOT TO GO THERE?

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  18. Nancy - Iowa

    Unbelievable – can the McCain campaign and its supporters get any more despicable? I am from this area, and I'm deeply offended by this. Intelligent Americans who care about the future of this country will NOT be voting for 4 more years of Republican's hate-filled, fear-mongering tactics or their fiscal irresponsibility! It's clear that trickle-down economics and deregulation espoused by the Republicans do not work! Enough already – vote for Obama and let's take our country back!

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  19. A christian conservative, Washington DC


    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  20. Bob Indianapolis, IN

    Some Christian!! My God is better than your God! Neener, neerer!

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  21. conciousbrotha

    This is a case of, my God is better than your God. This type of thinking is pathetic. I recall that Jesus said, "many sheep have I, that are not of this fold". Jesus nver said that he was a Christian, nor did any of the prophets. Look it up. Christianity only came into existance after the death of Jesus. It is amazing how thses people feel that they have ownership of God.

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  22. Jonathan

    I pray everday that Barack Obama WILL be the next President of the United States of America!!!

    OH!!! And did I mention...................................I AM A CHRISTIAN!!!!!!!!!!

    Obama/Biden '08

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Jimmie G

    And they prayed for rain in Colorado during the acceptance speech....
    instead, the GOP convention came just as a hurricane approached.
    " And Jesus said, that which you do to the least, you do to me".
    I am a Christian and I find this GOP culture war very offensive.
    Jesus also said, when you pray, do it in a closet, because prayers are between you and God, (not for political purposes)

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. bill in ohio

    I am a Christian, i just think things like helping the poor, peace on earth, social and economic justice, and so on are more important and more in step with the teachings of Christ. As opposed to the political/religious right in this country who say that the only way to be a Christian is to concerned, exclusivly, with gays and abortion.

    Thanks religious right, but Id like my religion back.

    October 11, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  25. Bs

    I really don't feel strongly about those issues like prayer in public schools and Ten Commandments in our courthouses. As far as the American constitution is concerned, I am not sure that the government should be legislating on spiritual issues affecting the prayer and the like. In my view, I think erosion of moral values in the church is of greater concern. The Bible is not particularly interested in improving the general morality of the world. In other words, we should not be so concerned about the government legislating to have non-Christians acting like Christians. So I think these people at McCain rallies are going to disappointed and disillusioned if they are looking for the Government to be their salvation. This is a difficult issue though but as a general rule; we don't need to preach to people as some are trying to.

    October 11, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
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