Once again, Republican presidential candidate John McCain has issued a statement rejecting the remarks of one of his supporters. This time Pastor Arnold Conrad said during the invocation that he delivered before McCain’s speech in Davenport, Iowa that other gods, including Allah, are praying for an Obama win.
According to Marc Ambinder, here is what Conrad said, “I also would also pray, Lord, that your reputation is involved in all that happens between now and November, because 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. So I pray that you will step forward and honor your own name with all that happens between now and election day.”
For the second time this week the McCain campaign had to issue a statement rejecting the comments of one of their supporters. McCain aide Wendy Reinmann said, “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.”
Of course, Conrad was implying the other religions want Obama to win because he is the non-Christian candidate. Besides the fact that this so called man of faith completely lied about Obama’s religion, this is the kind of thing that happens when politics get preached from the pulpit. I also think that the Republican Party is now paying the price for letting the radical social conservative wing dominate. Comment’s like Conrad’s are common in evangelical circles, where political campaigns are viewed as a holy war, but many non evangelical or social conservatives voters find these kinds of remarks radical and frightening.
McCain started out this campaign by moving away from his maverick image and more to the right. I think that the Arab/terrorist slurs play into the views of the radical element of the GOP, but McCain has come to the conclusion that they are too far out there for him. The dilemma for McCain is that the evangelicals and social conservatives are the grass roots operation of the party. McCain and the evangelical right were always an incompatible fit, and what were are seeing now is a candidate who is on the verge of open war with part of his own party. What we are watching is the implosion of the Republican Party.