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. Chris

    Not much is sacred to Maher. Watch the guy and he feels that he knows it all. I do feel sorry for poeple like that – most people by the time you get to his age begin to understand they only know a fraction. I feel more sorry for the people that have to put up with him. He can't accept a guy, who is a great father, that does things a bit out of the norm. Santorum is not doing anything horrible, but if Maher believe otherwise, than Santorum must be wrong?? – then all of Mahars supporters/veiwers follow him right over the cliff.

    March 13, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  2. Jonnyboiler

    You don't need to be a fan of Maher to realize that the comparison Santorum made between Bill's and Rush's comments was absolutely ludicrous.

    If you think they are comparable, please explain to me how you interpret the Madrassa comment. Thanks

    March 13, 2012 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  3. otisadog

    They have an on and off button on all TVS. Also remotes that change the channel . I don't watch Christian broadcasting or hispanic channels (I only speak English) and I have those channels not in my favorites list, so when I channel surf, myremote skips those channels. Why don't the Bill Maher haters should do the same with shows they don't want to watch...stay of HBO if you can't stand the heat!

    March 13, 2012 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  4. oneSTARman

    If the FAITH that is being Taught at Home is the ANTI-SOCIAL Tea Party FILTH – The OPPOSITE of the Teachings of Christ – Actually BECAUSE it is OPPOSITE Christ's Teachings about Loving the Least among US as embodying the LIVING Christ (Matthew 25:40) – it is a Form of SATANISM – If THAT is what these Children are Being subjected to YES I say SAVE THEM

    March 13, 2012 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  5. AM

    Since when Public school started teaching immorality? Is theory of evaolution immorality?? Is tolerance to gays and lesbians immorality? What's immorality is judjing other people. Jesus Christ thought how to be tolerant and forgiving. Sometimes I wonder if Santorum and others are reading the same Bible as every body else does.
    Waht is the difference between extemist muslims who don't let their girls to attend schools and Santorum likes. I say there is no difference. Extremisms is extremism, it doesn't matter if it is Muslim or Christian.

    March 13, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  6. Jim

    What is the difference between him and the Ayatollah, besides him not having as much power, thank god.

    March 13, 2012 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  7. Dana T

    I'm all for teaching faith and religion in the home. It's teaching math, English, and history that I don't think belongs in the home, but in the schools. As I understand the term, madrassa is the correct word for this.

    March 13, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  8. DaveC

    Home schooling is crap, pure and simple. I have several coworkers and relatives that home schooled their kids because they didn't want someone elses "values" influencing their children. The kids basically studied for tests they had to take and nothing else. There was very little learning in the home. The parents went to various websites and copied canned lesson plans and submitted them to their local school authorities to meet the requirements and never followed them. One of the school districts actually let the parents administer the tests and report the results (kinda like the fox doing the head count at the chicken coop).

    In all of these cases the kids were way far behind their peers in comparable age groups for things they should know. When confronted with this guess who the parents blamed? The government and their regulations!

    One final thought on the fallacy of home schooling. Two of the home schooled kids went to college after being home schooled for their entire lives. They failed miserably. They couldn't deal with a structured learning environment where reasonable measures where applied and people expected something from them. Now they are basically living at home goof offs. And guess what? Their parents are still blaming the government and government regulations (lets not forget the permissive society we live in). Blame anyone but yourself.

    March 13, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  9. Kathy

    There is one big difference...Rush spews his hate for free. You have to pay for Mahers. People need to get their facts straight, encluding Santorum. Rush needs to take his hate speech and go on satellite. He can spew all the hate he wants...people can then pay $243 a year to hear that hate....his free ride is over!

    March 13, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  10. Sniffit

    "Obama is a joke and where is all the outrage about the gas prices??? Oh you morons only get mad when it was "Bushs fault".. If you could only see how stupid you are it whould shock you.. The rest of the normal world is pointing and laughing..haha"

    The rest of the normal world is also paying higher gas prices right now. Is that Obama's doing as well?

    March 13, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  11. Cathy

    Greg – you spelled Nickel wrong. It's their mouths. Their undoing, their ego, overrides, publically,

    March 13, 2012 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  12. Whammybar

    Bill Maher is not a Rush. Different type of cat. Santorum is giving validity to Maher by addressing his rants. Not very good reasoning for a guy that wants to be president. Sounds childish. Did too did not, he said she said.
    Maher always goes for the foul, shock value, like Stern does on the radio. Rush seeks to be a common voice, Maher speaks for himself and he's funny. Rush is never funny and he seems to think he's legit and apparently the voice of reason for all things conservative. Maher will attack anybody.

    March 13, 2012 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  13. QS

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

    LMFAO! Can't....breathe.....must....stop....laughing!!

    March 13, 2012 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  14. Chris

    Bill Maher is first a comedian on HBO. He also is a Libertarian. He is on the left but he is not a Democrat nor a party spokesperson. Rush Limp-augh is able to influence the party and also is certainly no comedian. Once Rush can sell out arenas and make people laugh their butts off then he can try that route. The oxy junkie spokesman for the righties has tried blaming Bill Maher and rappers for his degrading comments when he needs to look no further than an actual mirror. Although that could be challenging as I am sure most crack upon reflecting his fugly mug.

    God bless America!

    March 13, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  15. FLIndependent

    @SLP – "Let me just give you nonreligious folks something to chew on here for a moment. This debate about birth control, which all of you insist isn't an attack on religious freedom, need to realize that it is. This is just the first step in the our government's war on religious freedom. This affects everyone even those of you who choose to not have any religious beliefs. So if you wish to be able to freely state that your an atheist, you better open your eyes and start paying attention."
    _____________________________________
    I'm not sure if you're Catholic, but I will tell you as a lapsed one, that over my 50+ years of life on this earth, I've seen many rituals & "beliefs" changed by the Church so anything they say is "sacred" can be changed if need be. It used to be that only the priest could administer communion then they changed that so any lay person could give it; communion couldn't be touched by the person receiving it, then they changed it where you could have it placed in your hand; it was a sin to miss Sunday mass and not go to Confession, etc, etc. Many of these old beliefs have changed over time and it is NOW time for their "belief" about birth control to come into the 21st Century. That is what this controversy should be about as it in NO WAY takes away anyone's religious freedom!!

    March 13, 2012 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  16. Margaret

    No good Catholic schools in his area? Being a good Catholic shouldn't he be supporting the local Catholic schools.

    March 13, 2012 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  17. Steve P

    Joe, Joe, Joe. A 'washout' comic? Perhaps you meant "washed up", but either way, that point is pure fantasy. In terms of Obama being a complete joke...the last 12 years of presidency have been a complete joke, but if you believe that Romney, Gingrich, or Santorum, offer any reasonable, viable alternative, you are indeed the moron. It's bad, it has been bad for 12 years, and it is getting no better over the next 4 years under any of the candidates, liberal or right wing nutter. As for gas prices...the only ones more dumb than those that complain about a president based on gas prices are those that complain about complainers. You do realize, I must assume, that the POTUS has virtually no impact on the price of gas, right? And while the rest of the world might be laughing at hard core libs and idiot conservatives, I am actually far more inclined to laugh at you, at least based on the content of your post. It really was dumb, you know. No offense.

    March 13, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  18. retiredecee

    Obviously, we are free country and if Santorum wants to home school children that is his right... However, Madrassa should not have a negative connotation...since madrassa in arabic is "School" it has nothing to do with religion...
    The negativity of this connotation is that it has been associated with teaching Muslim Koran teaching.. I however, agree with Maher. What came out of Santorum in the current GOP race is scary ideas that can lead to Amerighastan type USA and this is unacceptable...

    March 13, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  19. Proverb

    Those evil Christians destroying our country with Christian values... Now if we could just remove them from this country all togehter, it would make it such a better place. If we only had the values of Bill Maher, just think how much better off we would be. How dare parents think that they can teach their kids Christian values. That should be the government's job. Look, they are doing such a great job now! NSfromIndiana and all you clowns who bash Christians are a complete bunch of idiots! May you get your wish and have your freedoms taken away from you. This is exactly what you deserve.

    March 13, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  20. AEK

    Don't worry about it, Ricky, he's just an entertainer!

    March 13, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  21. lordpet

    Joe, oil is going up over a potential war with Iran. Obama is actually trying to cool things off. If we go to war with Iran, get ready for $10+ gas. Maher is not the Limbaugh of the left: no politicians get their marching orders from Bill Maher. And yes, many things were Bush's fault. Or was he not President from 2000-2008, the worst era of economic performance in our country's history?

    March 13, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  22. Jeff

    Home Scholing is mind control and child abuse. Maher is right. Open your mind. Kids need to connect with other kids from different cultures. That's what public education is all about. Either that or you subject your kids to narrow minded funtamental crap.

    March 13, 2012 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  23. stoley eisenhower

    It is what it is. There is a video on youtube called "jesus camp" that shows what conservative religious extremists are doing to their children. Brainwashing them to be soldiers of Christ.

    March 13, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  24. Lisa P

    Rick Santorum may be home schooling his kids but he seems to be learning all his political tricks from Sarah Palin. Need attention? Bring up your family! Losing an argument? Bring up your family and act all offended about some imagined insult to them. Extra points if you can also pretend it's somehow about religion or "values" (undefined).

    March 13, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  25. mikey

    Maher doesn't know everything believe it or not. I believe having your children homeschooled is a great idea. It gives the children a steady and trusting foundation. It can be great if the parents take their responsibilities serious.

    March 13, 2012 03:10 pm at 3:10 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