Santorum rails against Maher on 'Christian madrassa' comment
March 13th, 2012
05:30 PM ET
3 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. Loki

    In a real intellectual fight, Maher would lose. he has way to many holes in his fortress of hate & bias. Maher loves Jews & Israel but hates religion & Christians. Maher hates women except if they are in his hot tub. Maher calls everyone in this country stupid especially if the are White Christians. He totally hates the country people and middle America. I don't see how Maher could possibly hold out in a real interview. I surely bet Gingrich could walk all over him. I don't even understand Maher's viewpoint any more. Lastly, how can Obama take money from Maher considering Maher wrote a book and movie that says Obama's religious beliefs are nonsensical and harmful.

    March 13, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  2. Trena

    Madrasah literally means "a place where learning and studying are done". It appears Bill Maher may be correct in his saying, " 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." Hence, the reason Santorum thinks "you're a snob for wanting children to grow up and go to college." Great Santorum, keep 'em coming. You, Mitt, Gingrich and paul are all but handing the election over to Obama.... Heaven forbid the likes of either of you win the election...Yeesh!

    March 13, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  3. tony

    Where is America and Mexico and Canada in the Bible?

    March 13, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  4. Joe

    Bills full comments were not posted here, I watched the show and some of it made sense. I am a liberal and a Catholic and we are fortunate enough through budgeting to raise our children in Catholic schools. However we also have open, educated minds and see right through Santorum and Republicans that drove this country into the ground! He is a nut job. Religion and politics need to be separated! The GOP discriminates all the time and use fear and prey off of ignorance’s hate. Yeah, that’s what God wants………NOT!

    March 13, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  5. Oldbear 60

    As a watcher of the Bill Maher show I heard Bills comments and chuckled. Bill is only pointing out the absurdity of someone who wants to feed at the public trough trying to have it all. Santorum isn't an outsider, he's a former US Senator and a professional politician. I will gladly allow him his beliefs and support his right to them if he will do the same for myself and others. Unfortunately these people don't believe in true freedom, only their version.

    March 13, 2012 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
  6. Yuri

    Beware guys! If anybody even thinks of broadsiding an infallible and impeccable Rickie boy, the satan will bite the butts so hard that they will cease to exist.

    March 13, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  7. TJeff1776

    How these crazy conservatives compare Maher and Limbaugh flies over my head.. I suppose they THINK Maher is a fallback
    faultfind to protect Limbaugh. These conser in their "foaming at the mouth" efforts to protect that rat Limbaugh places them even further out on a limb. Lets VOTe'em out. The only way to get rid of the scratches.

    March 13, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  8. Joan

    Rick Santorum is a public figure running for president. That puts you out there in the public eye. All candidates get scrutinized and horribly criticized, especially by comedians. It is all part of the game. Remember all of the comments about Pres. Bush and it has been even more sarcastic and out of control since Pres. Obama took office. If Mr. Santorum can't take the heat then get out of the fire. It is interesting to note that the right has justified Rush Limbaugh's caustic remarks about the young law student by saying that the left did the same to Sarah Palin. There is a huge difference. Sarah Palin was a public figure who could dish it out as good as she got. Remember how she allowed people at her rallies to yell "Kill him" about the president. The law student was a private citizen who was testifying at a congressional hearing. Are all private citizens who testify at hearings now subject to ridicule? Also, the right seems to forget the horrible and disgusting comments made by them about Sen. Clinton. Who could forget the joke (by McCain I think) about Mrs. Clinton and Janet Reno? The way Mrs. Obama was portrayed and slandered was , and still is, utterly disgusting too. You are never going to be able to stop the sarcastic comments from the press, commedians, pundits, etc. if you choose to put yourself in the public spotlight but private citizens should be treated with more respect and common sense.

    March 13, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  9. Jake

    I seriously don't know why Santorum would bother addressing this. If he had half a brain, he'd realize that anyone who would ever consider voting for him would not be a person who'd be listening to Bill Maher. If he had half a brain. Maybe his 12 year old son can explain that obvious logic to him.

    March 13, 2012 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  10. Ben

    It is obvious that no one commenting watches Maher's show. He made the contribution for the purpose of demonstrating how insane that someone like him can have such an effect on the political process. Everyone takes his actions and words at face value, but his intent is always more in depth.

    March 13, 2012 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  11. Willie James

    Bill Maher is making a good point using scarastic humor. Santorum and the home schoolers dont want their kids with ours, dont want them learning what ours learn, want them fully indocrinated into their own religion (no wonder so many homeschooled kids drop church in their 20's). Religious brainwashing has gone on for centuries. Santorum has exposed himself as intolent of others, as Maher is intolerent of ignorance.

    March 13, 2012 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  12. CenterForReason

    Has anyone else noticed how obsessive Bill Maher has become with his hate for Christians? Anyone want to venture he has some issues he hasn't quite worked through yet? lol. I used to be a fan, because let's face it, he is pretty damn quick witted. But he puts his talents to such a waste being so hateful toward anyone that doesn't think just like him. I wonder if he is just putting on a show, or if he really hates that many people in 'Real' life. I got pretty tired of him attacking just about everyone who doesn't think like him. Even when I agree with him. He and Rush are one in the same.

    March 13, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  13. Peter

    Newt goes on "The Rick And Bubba Show" (!) to announce that he, a multiple adulterer, may team with a devout Christian who flaunts his religion (Santorum) in order to stop the Mormon Romney, who they consider "too liberal" (!!).

    You just can't write stuff like this.

    March 13, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  14. steve

    Whether or not one cares for the political candidates, it is hard to imagine anyone more pathetic than Maher. That in and of itself is quite an achievement, in today's world.

    March 13, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  15. AL in West Palm Beach

    Santorum is mad because Bill Maher called his Home-school a home-madrassa...which means exactly the same thing.

    EXCEPT A HOME SCHOOL CHILD WILL TAKE THAT TO MEAN SOMETHING ELSE BECAUSE THE teacher FAILS TO REALISE THEY DON'T KNOW IT AND THEREFORE LIE TO THE student. SO SANTORUM JUST PROVED BILL MAHER right.

    Mr. Santorum, you're a fool.

    March 13, 2012 02:16 pm at 2:16 pm |
  16. FedUp

    How many millions of people are home schooling their children? The people I know that are doing it, are avoiding the violence and bullying in the schools. If Limbaugh should be removed from the air waves (says Jane Fonda, the traitor), then Maher should be off the air also.

    March 13, 2012 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  17. The Real Tom Paine

    Santorum did not even win a plurality of the Catholic vote in Ohio: maybe the Catholics are trying to tell us something?

    March 13, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  18. ThePastaSauce

    Santorum is foolish for addressing Maher in any fashion. Santorum is running for President of the United States, not a contestant on American Idol – unfortunately that is what the Presidential election has come to resemble!!! Speak to the issues and here is a big note to all – RELIGION IS NOT ONE OF THEM!!!!

    March 13, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  19. TangaU

    If Maher had been in the Garden of Eden, he would've taken the first bite.

    And every liberal who ever lived after him would've cried, "It wasn't his fault".

    March 13, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  20. Patroni1970

    Rick Santorum is just bitter because Bill Maher isn't DUMB enough to vote for a Republican.

    March 13, 2012 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  21. Dance This Mess Around

    dc

    Why is it if you don't agree with a REPUBLICAN , you are called "stupid, ignorant, moron" etc.,?
    -----------------------------------------------
    You get what you give.

    March 13, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  22. Martha in CF

    I haven't heard Sanitarium bash Rush Limbaugh on his comments.....Oh wait a minute --Sanitarium started all this against womens rights!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was a lot disheartened about Maher siding with Rush though...........
    As far as home schooling-I feel sorry for the children home schooled, not that they don't get a good education, it is just that they lack social connections.....Get our regular schools back to being fully funded again-too much money has been taken away from them to function......

    Obama/Biden 2012

    March 13, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  23. johnny popper

    Bill Maher is to pot and late night tv what Rush Limbaugh is to oxycotton and daytime radio. They are both probably pretty wierd, self absorbed dudes away from their empires. I like seeing them get kicked around a bit.

    March 13, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  24. Blindersoff

    What a show, what a show!

    March 13, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
  25. Randy, San Francisco

    People should ignore political talk show entertainers like Maher and Limbaugh. Spend the valuable time getting real information by tuning into PBS, NPR, or CNN news. Get the facts yourself and come to your own conclusions.

    March 13, 2012 02:20 pm at 2:20 pm |
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