Laura Meckler reports from Davenport, Iowa, on the presidential race:
Sometimes the most interesting stuff happens before John McCain even arrives. At a McCain rally today in Davenport, a pastor delivered an odd invocation.
“There are millions of people around this world praying to their god — whether it’s Hindu, Buddha, Allah — that his [McCain’s] opponent wins, for a variety of reasons,” said Arnold Conrad, former pastor of Grave Evangelical Free Church. “And Lord, I pray that you would 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 in all that happens between now and Election Day.”
That might strike some as provocative given persistent, false rumors that Democrat Barack Obama is a Muslim. Sen. Obama is Christian.
“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 spokeswoman Wendy Riemann.
2. The idiot preacher seems to think that there’s a god named “Hindu.”
3. If John McCain doesn’t want this sort of crap said at his rallies, he needs to do something about it.
4. Note the very limp response from the McCain spokesgeek. Compare it to McCain’s demand that Barack Obama denounce much more reasonable comments by John Lewis, comments not made at an Obama rally.
5. And note that she manages to stick the shiv in again, by suggesting that there are “questions about the religious backgrounds of the candidates.”
Marc Ambinder has the .mp3. If there was any dissenting noise from the crowd, the tape didn’t pick it up. Ambinder uses the words “relgious war,” which seems appropriate, and wonders whether Bill Maher hired this clown to promote his film “Religulous.” As good a theory as any, I suppose.