Santorum rails against Maher on 'Christian madrassa' comment
March 13th, 2012
05:30 PM ET
2 years ago

Santorum rails against Maher on 'Christian madrassa' comment

(CNN) - Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum hit back against Bill Maher Monday night after the liberal talk show host criticized Santorum for home-schooling his children, calling his home a "Christian madrassa."

Responding to his comments, Santorum, a devout Catholic, said on Fox News that "folks on the left" are out there "trashing anybody who stands up for Christian conservative values, anybody who dares to actually teach their children faith in their home."

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Maher made the remarks on his show Friday, saying that Santorum was sheltering his children and educating them in the home rather than in public out of fear they "could be infected by the virus of reason."

"It's no coincidence that the type of tree which God forbade Adam and Eve eating from was the tree of knowledge. Rick Santorum home-schools his children because he does not want them eating that (audio bleep) apple," Maher said. "He wants them locked up in the Christian madrassa that is the family living room, not out in public where they could be infected by the virus of reason."

The comedian has drawn criticism from many on the right for his comments against top Republicans. In response, some conservatives, including Sarah Palin, have called on a super PAC supporting President Barack Obama's re-election bid to return Maher's $1 million donation. The group, Priorities USA, has not indicated it would give back the contribution.

But Santorum on Monday, pointing to the uproar over Rush Limbaugh's comments last month against a law student who advocated for contraception coverage, said Maher's remarks were an “absolute double standard" from the left.

"All of a sudden, if you're instilling faith and teaching them about God in your home, you're a Madrassa, according to these folks, as if reason doesn't take place in these homes," Santorum said.

The candidate then argued his son, one of seven children, could take on Maher.

"Our children will out-reason him. My 12 year-old will out-reason Bill Maher when it comes to understanding how logic works, 'cause (Maher) is completely illogical," Santorum said.


Filed under: 2012 • Rick Santorum
soundoff (761 Responses)
  1. decora

    funny i remember some conservative catholics who were protesting against the death penalty. i dont know if they were 'the left' or not.

    March 14, 2012 12:22 am at 12:22 am |
  2. ATLmatt

    help control the zealot population. please have your devout spade or neutered.

    March 14, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  3. jules

    First of all, let me say, I am in NO way against home-schooling. I'm sure there are folks out there who feel their public schools are completely inadequate and do not have the money to send their kids to a private school. (ie-they happen to live in a violent area or one notorious for really bad teachers) But something tells me neither is the case for Santorum. I'm quite sure where he's lived has good public schools and he can most certainly afford to send his kids to the best private Catholic school around. So the only reason for him to home-school his kids is because they "could be infected by the virus of reason." So Maher couldn't be more dead-on balls correct. Santorum is a man who has NO desire to allow reason into his life...and seeks to eliminate it from the lives of others.

    March 14, 2012 01:33 am at 1:33 am |
  4. Austin Darrow

    I was home schooled until high school. All four years of public high school I was valedictorian (rank 1) of my class, commended on all my end of the year exams, and had no problems with a social life (played sports, was in the band, had girlfriends, ect.). In fact, public school curriculum bored me and I hardly remember a time that I even studied as the work was so easy. I also was involved in community service and volunteer programs. I had no problems with gangs, drugs, alcohol, ect. as so many public school kids did. Now please, remind me how horrible and unintelligent home schooled children are.

    March 14, 2012 02:16 am at 2:16 am |
  5. Memeplex Fraker

    Santorum is a memebot. This is what memebots do: make more memebots.

    March 14, 2012 02:18 am at 2:18 am |
  6. thomas

    "Christian madrassa."

    He just drags his children around on the campaign trail . So they drive around on a nonstop school bus, we pays for this ?

    12 year old logic, Lord of the Fly s.

    March 14, 2012 02:36 am at 2:36 am |
  7. Gorgegirl

    Bill Mahers show is on the premium channel HBO – it does NOT appear on any of the PUBLIC AIRWAVES. why is it too hard for the republicans to understand this difference? Rush Limbaugh's program is on the PUBLIC AIRWAVES. But Rush Limbaugh should be fired and not allowed to clutter our public airwaves with hatred for women.

    March 14, 2012 02:38 am at 2:38 am |
  8. Farnsworth

    There seems to be several people here who are missing the joke. Maher's use of "madrassa" is specifically because of how the right has (mis)characterized them as being religious extremist indoctrination facilities. He does not believe this, but he knows they do (or at least they pretend to to rile the base), so he uses the word to prod them.

    In short, the extreme right has chosen to make the word "school" a pejorative, so he's turning it around on them.

    March 14, 2012 03:38 am at 3:38 am |
  9. eclark

    An earlier comment claimed that home schooled kids out perform public school kids on standardized tests. Actually, middle class kids, living in two parent homes with college educated parents out perform just about everyone regardless of where they are educated. Most home schooled kids are members of that demographic. The implication that home schooling is superior to public school education is not supported by the data, unless it has been cherry picked.

    March 14, 2012 06:46 am at 6:46 am |
  10. deke4

    More importantly, his rants about government handouts stinks to high heaven. He opposes what he calls government handouts to other people but feels no guilty qualms at accepting government dole. Pennsylvania Education Law clearly states that you must reside within the school district within the state of Pennsylvania to receive Pennsylvania Cyber Home Schooling funds. The Santorum's received the funds while their children werew being homeschooled in Virginia. I am rather curious as to whom those Pennsylvania homeschooling checks were made out to and to whom they were sent. I guess, according to the Santorum/s, government money spent for their benefit is not welfare.

    March 14, 2012 06:54 am at 6:54 am |
  11. jon

    At least when you are bragging up your homeschooling for your kids 'Lil" Ricky remember to thank the us Pennsylvania taxpayers you stuck with the bill. It's a matter of public record for you "family values" folks. Santorum has been feeding at the public "money well" since he first ran for office. And after he was soundly thrashed out of office he has been living as a unregistered lobbyist. He was kind enough to release his tax statements to show us that. Two of the businesses he received compensation from or was on their 'board of directors" he introduced or helped pass legislation favoring them. He's no savior, he's just business as usual and one of the biggest hypocrites their are.

    March 14, 2012 07:35 am at 7:35 am |
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