(Photo illustration: Nick Wanserski)

Not even the pages of P.G. Wodehouse could deliver unto the American people a more satisfyingly loquacious assessment of Republican presidential candidate and human incarnation of the most annoying sound in the world Ted Cruz. With a delightful frankness that suggests he looked up the word “unctuous” in the dictionary and thought, “Yeah, that’s the exact opposite of any sane person’s views on Cruz,” former Speaker of the House John Boehner has opened up about his feelings regarding the Texas senator. Coming as a surprise to nobody who has ever met the glad-handling religious extremist, Boehner is less than pleased to have encountered Cruz. This was his response during a talk at Stanford University, Politico reports, when asked for his opinion of Ted Cruz:

Lucifer in the flesh. I have Democrat friends and Republican friends. I get along with almost everyone, but I have never worked with a more miserable son of a bitch in my life.

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That sounds about right, considering his former colleagues have suggested you could murder Cruz on the floor of the Senate and no one would convict you. But Hemant Mehta, who blogs under “The Friendly Atheist” banner at Patheos, decided to do some fact-checking. Is Cruz truly the anti-Christ? Would he meet you at a crossroads and accept your soul in exchange for guitar-playing skills? Do the pure-hearted recoil at his touch? (Actually, we have video evidence of that last one, so we’re at least partway there.) So Mehta reached out to The Satanic Temple, those fun-loving fans of awesome recent horror film The Witch who erect statues of Baphomet in their spare time, to weigh in like the specialists they are in all things Beelzebub-related. A spokesman for the group, Lucien Greaves, told Mehta the following:

Cruz’s failures of reason, compassion, decency, and humanity are products of his Christian pandering, if not an actual Christian faith. It grows tedious when pedophile priests and loathsome politicians are conveniently dismissed as Satanic, even as they spew biblical verse and prostrate themselves before the cross, recruiting the Christian faithful. Satanists will have nothing to do with any of them.

While it may be surprising for some to learn the term “loathsome politician” didn’t originate with Ted Cruz, it shouldn’t strike anyone as unexpected that even The Satanic Temple wants to run as far away from Cruz as possible. Ted Cruz could ride a chariot made of dead babies into a giant flaming inverted cross, and Satanists would say, “Who invited this asshole?” Besides, everyone knows Lucifer is busy solving crimes in L.A. at the moment, an idea still less idiotic than Cruz’s plans to demolish the Environmental Protection Agency and end the IRS. Meanwhile, he continues to run second place in the Republican nomination campaign and be seen as less insane than Donald Trump, which is its own form of blasphemy.

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