INDIANAPOLIS -- Prominent Satanists want to be clear: Ted Cruz need not apply.
After former House Speaker John Boehner on Wednesday called the current Republican presidential candidate "Lucifer in the flesh," saying he found it difficult to work with him, staunch Satanists decried the comparison.
"Having a conservative Christian likened to Lucifer -- one who opposes equal rights for same sex couples and promotes the ability to deny services to any with different values -- we Satanists see as besmirching the positive, heroic aspects of that character as portrayed by Milton in his epic 'Paradise Lost,'" Magus Peter Howard Gilmore, the high priest of The Church of Satan, said in a statement.
Lucien Greaves, a spokesman and co-founder for the Satanic Temple, told ABC News he thinks Cruz engages in "clearly deplorable behavior" and that Boehner's comments were "thoughtless and ignorant."
"Christians can't just push Cruz off on Satanists," Greaves said. "All he's trying to say is that Ted Cruz is some type of embodiment of evil. I think that's a rather destructive, backward mindset, because when you take clearly Christian individuals, clearly Christian activities, and things go sour, you pass them off as the influence of Satan.
"It really prevents you from thinking clearly," he said.
Cruz had previously dismissed Boehner's comparison, saying he had hardly interacted with the Ohio Republican over the years.
While Gilmore, the high priest, said that Satanists have not expressed any "collective support for any specific politicians," Greaves said Satanists do not "want" Cruz and that he "is everything opposite of what we represent."