U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz

Before I begin this week’s column I’d like to first offer an apology. You see, I have a bad habit of referring to antigay politicians and talking heads using terms like “ass,” “asshole,” “dick” and “dickhead” in the pejorative. I’ve done some soul-searching and realized that I can no longer do this in good conscience and I sincerely apologize to anyone I have offended. After all, butts and penises serve a legitimate purpose in the lives of so many people. In other words: There are plenty of people, straight and gay alike, who like backsides and wieners. Not only for the sexing, mind you, but also for the very essential bodily functions they allow for. I hope that each and every booty and schlong and the people who love them can forgive me.

Which leads me to this week’s creep: U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), the first Republican to throw his hate in the ring (no, I did not spell “hat” wrong) to run for president.

On April 9, Cruz spoke in Iowa to a gathering of The Network of Iowa Christian Home Educators and — surprise! — said something antigay.

More specifically, Cruz was expressing his support for the so-called “religious-liberty” laws being passed across the country, the most notably in Indiana. He also expressed his frustration that anyone would dare challenge such laws just because they can be used to discriminate against LGBT people in states where there are no nondiscrimination protections for LGBT people (like in Indiana).

“We look at the jihad that is being waged right now, in Indiana, and Arkansas,” he said, “going after people of faith who respect the biblical teaching that marriage is the union of one man and one woman.”

It is, of course, a mischaracterization, at best, to describe the opposition to so-called religious-freedom laws as “jihad.” But there’s no reason to give Cruz the benefit of the doubt here. He’s clearly using “jihad” intentionally in order to arouse his audience’s inherent dislike and distrust in Muslims in order to make them even more mad at those “dern homosexers.” And, while the definition of “jihad” is open to some debate, no doubt Cruz and his ilk believe that it means “gay married terrorists killing Jesus lovers for sport.” And since he’s speaking to a group of homeschoolers, said gay married terrorists were clearly trained in the public schools.

Because Cruz is apparently unaware of irony, after he laments the fact that LGBT people are kicking up a fuss over being singled out for discrimination, he then issues a call for unity. Against gay people.

“We need to bring people together to the religious-liberty values that built this country. It wasn’t long ago when this was an area of bipartisan agreement,” he said. “It used to be Democrats and Republicans, they might disagree on marginal tax rates, but when it came to the First Amendment, we all stood together and said, ‘Of course every one of us has a God-given right to seek out and worship God and to live according to our faith and our conscience and our belief.’”

Mind you, when he’s talking about the First Amendment, he means the right to the free exercise of religion, which specifically means the right to discriminate against icky LGBT people because Jesus said so. He’s claiming discrimination as a God-given right.

And this is where the old me would have called Cruz a dick. But the new me will not stoop so low. The new me declares that Cruz is a cancer. He is a tumor in the asshole of America, full of shit and recklessly multiplying and growing without regard to his host’s life or well-being. The good news is that he’s been detected fairly early. The bad news is that he’s convinced a lot of Americans, for whom religion trumps science, that he’s actually good for them. And so he grows.