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. DJ in Texas

    One difference is Bill Maher is a comedian who speaks for himself. People on the right actually "invite" Rush Limbaugh to speak at their events. No one on the left invites Bill anywhere to speak for anyone. Mr. Santorum can talk about "blah" people (and he clearly said black people), can say President Kennedy's speeach makes him "puke", can tell women they shouldn't take contraceptives, etc, but someone says one thing about him, and he's offended. hmmmm.................now's where the double standard. I'm not saying Bill Maher is right in what he said, but where's his feelings when Santorum says something offensive?

    March 13, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  2. MANNY B

    OK, so a talking serpent offering Adam and Eve an apple is "reason"?

    I would love to see the kid debate not Bill Maher per se but any other kid his age who has been taught about logic and reason. Oops, I forgot. The Holy Spirit would direct Santorum's kid to speak in tongues. My bad. :)

    March 13, 2012 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  3. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    ME, I am a leftist and went to Catholic Elementary and Secondary schools. I also went to a private (founded by Methodists) University. I did suffer apostasy back in 1980, 1984 and 1988 when I voted for Reagan and Bush (the first), but I recovered from that disease when Bush (the first) gutted our military and kicked a boatload of us out due to "force reductions". Also, some of my favorite columnists to read are George Will and Jonah Goldberg because of their ability to write intelligently constructed sentences, and Cal Thomas because he believes what he writes, as opposed to the current glut of rabid-pen Conservative writers today.

    March 13, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  4. chmch

    Santorum sounds a little thin skinned to be president. Glad we found that out before we made the mistake of electing him.

    March 13, 2012 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  5. mcp123

    "helping to lead others straight into the bowels of hell."

    Yeah people say that about rock music too... but since you can't even prove the existence of the devil, heaven, any supreme being do you really think it matters?

    March 13, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  6. fritz

    And yet again, we see religion as the start of yet another skirmish. Let's just agree with Nietzsche: God is Dead! Take all else into consideration and make a statement that has to do with YOU and NOT some affiliation you have. We know you're a Catholic, Rick, but what do YOU think??!! Can you think outside the "chapel"?

    March 13, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  7. Tillie

    Bill Maher is a comedian. He travels throughout the country doing stand-up. If you don't want to see or hear him, don't buy HBO or tickets to see his show. Just like Howard Stern. Don't like him? Don't pay for sat radio. Don't like MSNBC, CNN or Fox "news" on cable? Don't buy it.

    OTOH, Rush is on "free"AM radio and taxpayer funded AFR. BIG difference. I don't want my tax dollars used for sending hate speech to our brave American soldiers, just like women haters don't want to pay for women's reproductive healthcare.

    I'm in Texas and all the religious home schoolers I know are fundy christians who do not want their kids exposed to "secularists". In PA, I only knew one family who home schooled their child b/c she was bullied & abused at school. Rick Santorum took money from the Penn Hills School District that could have been used for another student with special needs. He's a liar and a massive hypocrite.

    March 13, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  8. johnsonj3

    Stanorum you can dish it but he can't take, what joke you are.

    March 13, 2012 03:26 pm at 3:26 pm |
  9. SLP

    @FlIndependent
    If their beliefs change, they should make the decision to change them. The government shouldn't mandate that they change them. I don't have a problem with birth control. It is the reason why I only have the two children that I planned on having. I disagree with the Catholic church's stance on this issue. However, that is a totally different issue.

    March 13, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  10. blake

    Yet another example of the double standard and hyprocisy of the leftist media. Relentless slam Limbaugh for his comments regarding a woman of highly questionable character and behavior. And ignore entirely the hateful and inappropriate comments of someone like Maher.

    March 13, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  11. Geezer

    Bill Maher is my hero and he's right. Christians are so afraid of anyone telling the truth.

    March 13, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  12. HenryB

    Lighten up Rick, you Christian neighbor loving stand up politician. Yuk.

    March 13, 2012 03:27 pm at 3:27 pm |
  13. Dance This Mess Around

    *** Gas prices right now are about the same as March 2008 when Bush was in the white house.
    The president has no control over gas prices.
    See the post below, this is typical of Republican response to President Obama.
    ----------------------------------------------

    Joe

    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

    March 13, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    madrasah literally means "a place where learning and studying are done

    March 13, 2012 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  15. RillyKewl

    Jesus freaks for logic?
    Okey doke. Let's argue logic and reason. Whose ready?

    March 13, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  16. Rudy NYC

    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.
    -------------–
    Home schooling is a great idea if the kids are going into the family business as their life's work. The parent can teach their kid everything the kid would need to know. But, what if the family business is farming and the kid wants to be doctor?

    March 13, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  17. keeth

    If a Democrat speaks ill of Maher, and Maher reacts, no one on the left cares. If a Republican speaks ill of Rush, and Rush reacts, the Republicans call him up and apologize.

    March 13, 2012 03:29 pm at 3:29 pm |
  18. MikeyZ

    I'm not entirely sure which of these guys is less relevant to the entire political process: Maher or Santorum.

    March 13, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. stephen

    How is maher considered a 'comedian'? Whats funny about publicly attacking someones core religious beliefs and parenting. FAIL.

    March 13, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  20. Glen

    Christian Madrassas? as opposed to.... what our Liberal Madrassa are turing our kids into in our public school systems and colleges, I'd choose the former anyday. lol

    March 13, 2012 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  21. PTNY

    Rick is teaching his kids, "Single parents breed criminals", can't imagine how messed up these kids really are.

    March 13, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Maher is a bitter, angry, miserable man who wants to make everyone else his equal. Without the Lord Jesus Christ, there is no hope or peace in the life of any.

    March 13, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  23. Roguey

    Maher makes a statement of fact and Santorum is offended by the word "madrassa" which simply means "school". In his ignorant, bigoted mind it is an insult.

    March 13, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. Rich

    Santorum's Christian education includes using a dead baby for "show and tell". He's a good man alright.

    March 13, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  25. Santorum for Truthiness

    Santorum thought POTUS was a procedure done by a Proctologist. His head is in the right part of the anatomy.

    March 13, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
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