As I've mentioned before, politicians who court endorsements from religious leaders do so at their own peril, because you never know kind of batsh*t politically incorrect statements or sermons will come back to haunt the politician trying to rope in more people of faith at the polls. Look at Obama and Rev. Wright, or John McCain and John Hagee.

One of the luminaries of gay-hating, womb-controlling "professional Christian" set, Ralph Reed, knows the religious right is becoming a big problem for the GOP and he is urging John McCain not to seek fundie endorsements -- or at least, keep his contacts with them on the DL, treating them like the crazy granny in the attic. (Right Wing Watch):

And you know that something really odd is happening when that figure is Ralph Reed, whose own political career tanked thanks to McCain’s own investigation into the corrupt world of Jack Abramoff.   Yet here Reed is, nearly two years later, doling out campaign advice to McCain as the candidate struggles to overcome the controversy generated by the endorsements of John Hagee and Rod Parsley:
John McCain should stop seeking endorsements from evangelical pastors and instead appeal directly to their church members, said Ralph Reed, the former Christian Coalition executive director.

“John McCain doesn't need to be standing at a bank of microphones next to a particular leader,'' Reed said in an interview on Bloomberg Television's “Political Capital With Al Hunt,'' to be broadcast today. “My advice would be stay away from endorsements and stick to the issues.''

...Reed, 46, said McCain's strategy of wooing evangelicals shouldn't be “top down,'' and his meetings with leaders and activists should be held in private.

“He needs to connect with them'' by touting his opposition to same-sex marriage and his anti-abortion record, said Reed, a regional director of President George W. Bush's 2004 re-election campaign.

Point in question, John Hagee's latest anti-gay Armageddon batsh*ttery. See below the fold. (via Max Blumenthal at Huff Post):

In his sermon, "The Final Dictator," Hagee described the Antichrist as a seductive figure with "fierce features." He will be "a blasphemer and a homosexual," the pastor announced. Then, Hagee boomed, "There's a phrase in Scripture used solely to identify the Jewish people. It suggests that this man [the Antichrist] is at least going to be partially Jewish, as was Adolph Hitler, as was Karl Marx."

This "fierce" gay Jew, according to Hagee, would "slaughter one-third of the Earth's population" and "make Adolph Hitler look like a choirboy."

If you can believe this (oh, I know you can), McCain buddy Holy Joe Lieberman plans to deliver the keynote address at the upcoming Christians United For Israel (CUFI) summit, and the Connecticut senator not only defends Hagee, but he has said he will not withdraw over Hagee's screed.

Pastor Hagee has devoted much of his life to fighting anti-Semitism and building bridges between Christians and Jews... I will go to the CUFI Summit in July and speak to the people who have come to Washington from all over our country to express their support of America and Israel, based on our shared eternal values and our shared contemporary challenges in the war against terrorism."