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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. Sniffit

    "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."

    And the best part? Studies actually show that college-educated people have a higher tendency to stick with their religious beliefs and practices, doing things like attending church every Sunday. They also have a much higher tendency to be informed about other religions and to be tolerant of different religions.

    So, given those facts, you do the 2 + 2 on why the Ayatollah Santorum hates college.

    March 13, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  2. Mark

    Reason? Isn't this the same Ricky Santorum who just said that gloabal warming was a "hoax"?

    March 13, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  3. Natalie

    I have to say, last week on Maher he ran a clip of interviews from people in the deep south....very scary indeed! One toothless guy simply said he'd never "vote for a black guy" and at the same time he denounced "big government", the interviewer asked him if he was on Welfare and he said something like, "Yes, I'm poor!" These people can't even connect the dots as to where that welfare check comes from, yet they are likely going to vote GOP and against their best interests because of their deep-seated prejudice. Sickening indeed.

    March 13, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  4. Maher is right

    Santorum is indistiguishable from any radical Mullah. They are basically two sides of the same intolerant, religious bigotry that has engulfed the world in the flames of war for centuries. I'd like to line them all up against a wall!

    March 13, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  5. Anonymous

    There is nothing at all comparable to Rush Dumbo's defamation of Ms. Fluke and Maher's comparison of "christian" home-schooling with madrassas. The second one has a basis in reality, the first had no connection whatsoever with reality. It's really a shame when so many deluded rightwing extremists can see simple yet important distinctions like these.

    March 13, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  6. normajean @ verizon ,com

    Frankly I don't care what Mr. Santorum believes in or what his religion teaches him but when he dramatically tries to force his views on the voters, he is going too far!!! We have our own plans for our lives and I'm sick of this man throwing his life style on the public as if he is god!! He can say or believe whatever he likes but as a candidate for president these are personal, family decisions. I have NEVER heard a candidate work SO HARD at advising voters on what to think and how to deal with family affairs!!!THIS IS A MAJOR TURN OFF!!!!!!

    March 13, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  7. Alfuc

    Rick Sanatorium wants to take the women and for that matter all of us back 200 years! Is that want the Americans want?

    He is running for President but didn't he loose his Senate seat?

    March 13, 2012 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  8. DrJStrangepork

    A Madrassa is a school. Bill Maher is an a s s. Santorum like most other parents is indoctrinating his kids into a belief system. They are his kids, and that is to his and his wife's discretion. Santorum should have left his kids out of it as much as Maher should have left them out it, but Santorum wants to be POTUS. You don't want DB's like Maher saying stuff about you or your kids, stay out of the public spot-light.

    March 13, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  9. Mike

    Santorum couldn't out-reason Bill Maher if he was somehow infused with the intellect of Einstein (which would increase his IQ from 0). He is an idiot.

    March 13, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  10. Miki801

    Home schooling can be a good education, however, only as good at the parents/teachers. Teachers/parents eliminate the influence of the school and other students, (for good or bad), from their children's formative years. When the clid leaves the nest he/she comes bang up against an often harsh real world. If the parent has been skilled it can work. I have seen children kick over the traces, and others who are ill equipt for further learning. I have also seen them go forward to accomplish much. Because a child is doing what the parent believes is right at twelve, it does not mean that th4y will be following that path in life. Thus the phrase,"fallen away".

    March 13, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  11. Dance This Mess Around

    This country was divided enough, What Rush did was kick in the door.
    Bill Maher tossed in some gas, and Santorum lit it.
    Let the free for all begin.
    The gloves are off.

    Obama 2012
    Clinton 2016

    March 13, 2012 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  12. FLIndependent

    It never ceases to amaze me how irrational people like Santorum are that they can't see they are no better than the Taliban we are fighting against when it comes to their religious beliefts. This country is made up of many religions so to have a President that can't see beyond his narrow world view is extremely frightening. If you're not a Christan then you're wrong, if you believe that woman should have equal rights and control over their own bodies, then you're wrong, if you believe people should be free to choose who they love and marry, then you're wrong. They are SO judgemental and there is NO WAY Santorum will be the leader of this great country!

    March 13, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  13. george From NC

    Santorum attaches anyone who does not hold his beliefs yet feels persacuted if anyone fights back. Its called being a hypocrite.

    March 13, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  14. Jonnyboiler

    I think I got censored on my previous post for quoting Rush. The only reason Santorum was offended was because Maher used an arabic word. Santorum flaunts his faith, so would he have also been offended had Maher used the word Rectory or Monastery instead of Madrassa? The two statements can't be compared. Any person's whose head isn't lodged you know where, would be able to see that.

    March 13, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  15. Tallulahtown

    Rick Santorum is against everything; really hope he gets the nomination......OBAMA 2012

    March 13, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  16. Foreverwar

    I suppose it is safe to say evolution will not be his children's stongest area of knowledge. Or climate science....or well, any science. I'd bet Santorum's history 101 starts with something like Adam and Eve riding dinosuars.

    March 13, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  17. Michael SC

    Rick, is it true, that your wife lived for several years with an abortion doctor and had no problem spending money that he made with abortions? If it is true, why didn't she become pregnant? Was she using birth-control or abortions?

    As going to college is being a snob, why are some of your children going to college instead of the military?
    College is liberal while the military is very conservative. So would it not be better for them to join our forces and defend the good from Evel?

    March 13, 2012 02:28 pm at 2:28 pm |
  18. Rudy NYC

    Willie James nailed it:

    "Santorum has exposed himself as intolent of others, as Maher is intolerent of ignorance."
    -------------------–
    Nominated for Most Eloquent Sound Off of the Day.

    March 13, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. juststoppinby

    @Sniffit – Really not sure what kind of point you are trying to make.. It made little sense. But I just wanted to ask what stats you are reading about college-educated people stick to their religious belief? It is quite the opposite. 85% of college students fall away from their faith in college.

    March 13, 2012 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  20. Don

    I can't wait for Santorums 12 year old to show up. Bill will treat him nicely and then send him on his way home or ask if he wants asylum.

    March 13, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  21. Dixie Independent voter

    Religious arrogance is an ugly trait.

    March 13, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  22. Ed

    I wonder what kind of science education you get when your teachers deny many scientific conclusions.

    March 13, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  23. Madrassa MO

    Maher's comments were meant to skewer Santorem that's why he chose the word "Madrassa". Remember BO studied in Indonesia in a public school / Mardrassa.

    Had he chose the word "Yehiva" it would been smiliar but had a different connotation.

    All commentators are hipocrites since on the one hand they tell you why you're view is stupid, wrong, biased ...but their view is brilliant, vibrant and correct.

    BS.

    Around 10 years ago Maher got his T!T in the wringer over comments he made on air / lost his position. But like a cat with 9 lives he landed on HBO. At some point he , Limbaugh and all the talking heads will say something so offensive that they will lose the majority of their advertisers / audience. Then they'll cut a deal for Sirus / go the Howard Stern route.

    BTW Maher comes from a mixed background: half Jewish / half Catholic. He seems to resent both equally (see Religilous).

    MO

    March 13, 2012 02:30 pm at 2:30 pm |
  24. Anonymous

    Top Ten Signs You're a Fundamentalist Christian
    10 – You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.
    9 – You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from other life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt.
    8 – You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Triune God.
    7 – Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" including women, children, and trees!
    6 – You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.
    5 – You are willing to spend your life looking for little loopholes in the scientifically established age of Earth (few billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by Bronze Age tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that Earth is a few generations old.
    4 – You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs – though excluding those in all rival sects – will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving."
    3 – While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to "prove" Christianity.
    2 – You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.
    1 – You actually know a lot less than many atheists and agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history – but still call yourself a Christian.

    March 13, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  25. JustSomeRandomGuyPostingAmazingComments

    Maher is correct. People of Santorums ilk think "science" is akin to mythology.

    March 13, 2012 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31