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. PBJen

    There's so much to respond to here!

    First – Does Santorum really have the time to pick fights with entertainers now? What happened to him running for president and caring about the economy?

    Second – I'm sure home schooling is fine but Maher is right that obviously religious people are biased and they therefor are probably fine with a biased education for their kids. Whether or not they'll be useful in society is anyone's guess at this point, however.

    Third – I don't think the right wants to get into a campaign finance fight. Newt is bank rolled by casinos and Romney brags about his friends in other high places. I'm just glad Maher is putting his money where his mouth is.

    Finally – Rush and Maher could be considered as comparable but don't forget you have to pay for HBO to see Maher. Don't agree with him, cancel your subscription. It's not as easy with Rush – Don't agree with Rush, don't buy his sponsors' products then pray after hundreds of years that they stop supporting him so he's banished to Sirius like Howard Stern.

    March 13, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  2. Sniffit

    "Who is teaching homeschool while Rick and his wife are out campaigning?"

    He likes to be called "Father Ticklepants."

    March 13, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
  3. derp

    "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"

    You will win a logical argument? How, by explaining your faith in magic apples, sky fairies, talking snakes and immaculate conceptions? Yeah, real logical.

    Good luck with that one Ricky.

    March 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  4. Glen

    Maher vs Limbaugh how would you know did you actually smell each of them side by side or is that your typical stereo type talk about Conservatives? I would venture to say the filth coming out of Maher mouth is far worse than anything most people have even seem and you can't hide behind the sorry excuse of being a Comedian.

    March 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  5. CBR

    The candidates are continually blasting or lambasting people. There is always someone or something to rail against instead of being positive. They seem to believe that if you get angry people will be more willing to support you.

    The difference between Bill Maher and Rush Limbaugh is very clear. Limbaugh was rude, crude, and any other adjective one could use in his treatment of Ms. Fluke. She is not a candidate for any office. She was sharing her views and asking for support from a Congressional Committee. Mr. Maher, on the other hand, is using his show which is supposed to be comical as a bully pulpit. He is not forcing anyone to listen to his show either.

    Lots of kids int his country are home-schooled for varying reasons. No one should be critical of the move to home-school children. It is how you present your reasons that matter. Mr. Santurum is a candidate and has opened himself up to criticism. The Republicans play that game and so will the Democrats. We have allowed this to happen so we should not be surprised when we hear these comments.

    March 13, 2012 03:35 pm at 3:35 pm |
  6. Chiniquy

    Madrassa literally means "a place where learning and studying are done." I usualy don't agree with Bill Maher on anything, but in this instance he is right. Rick Santorums' home is a Christan place where learning and studying is done.

    Rick objected because the word Madrassa has been idiotically associated with terrorism. Just like the word "Muslim" meaning "one who has submitted him or herself to do G-D's commands" has been demonized.

    March 13, 2012 03:36 pm at 3:36 pm |
  7. Rudy NYC

    John

    @ Joe- you are a moron. You think Maher is a leader of the left? I don't think so. He's an entertainer. Now to gas prices...I bet no one heard a peep out of you when GWB was in the white house and prices were sky high.
    ---------------
    There were no complaints from the right about gas prices during the GWB administration because GWB demonstrated that there is nothing the POTUS can do to affect the global price of oil. Remember that embarassing trip to Saudi Arabia? They wined and dined him, then sent him on his merry way in less than a day.

    March 13, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  8. derp

    "yes and Bill should issue a public apology and have many sponser pull out after such a remark"

    He has no sponsors moron. It's a pay channel.

    March 13, 2012 03:37 pm at 3:37 pm |
  9. Glen

    Derp as for Logical argument Bill Maher is a little of both, he's Catholic and Jewish even if he runs away from it that is his background and where he comes from lol

    March 13, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  10. hmmm...

    LOL...The take away...we all play baseball better than the guys making millions doing it. We all live life better than everybody else. We all have the answers that will make this world a better place and none of us will listen to any one else and everyone else will not listen to us. Thank goodness for 'intelligence'.

    March 13, 2012 03:38 pm at 3:38 pm |
  11. Mark

    I liike Santorum. He has my vote.

    March 13, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  12. Cynthia

    Santorum saying that Obama wants to create students in college "in his image". Seriously? And, you are home schooling your children to be in yours??
    Me thinks that Obama is the "real Christian" here. Religion is force-fed to the masses. Belief comes from an individual spiritual place NOT in need of a madrassa of any sort NOR in need of control of others. Big difference.

    March 13, 2012 03:40 pm at 3:40 pm |
  13. Skee

    Don't expect Bill Maher to say anything logical in a debate because Santorum will take away Bill's Telepromter.
    When people have to speak without Telepromters, only illogial idiots will speak.

    March 13, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  14. rams1942

    Santorum is right. It is quite logical to protect your children from the outside world if you want to make sure that they will not be able to think about anything but the narrow, hateful, crap that you put forward. Santorum is big on liberty unless it is for women or children. He is against government intervention unless it is to decide on the most private and personal issues for the individual. The man would fit well in Afganistan. He is the American equivalent to the Taliban.

    March 13, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  15. Glen

    PBJen Rick is not picking a fight with an "entertainer" if you can even call him that. He is only defending his family when they are being attacked by Bill Maher. I don't suppose your family would be so deserving of a response from you if they ever get attacked, that is if you even have a family.

    March 13, 2012 03:41 pm at 3:41 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    i don't think it's an issue of faith. the issue is forcing your faith on an entire country. personally, any public official, current or trying to be, if they say anything about God, church, religion, etc, should be taken off the ticket and not allowed to run.

    March 13, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  17. Carprin Rockville MD

    Wasn't this the same rick santorum who when asked about Rush Limbaugh's tirade on Sandra Fluke said that geee "Limbaugh is an entaintainer" you cant take anything he says seriously. Now he is unloading on late night comedian Bill Marr who has a history of outrageous and obsene remarks and his show airs on HBO an station noted for its somewhat
    " blue content" in its programming.
    The folks on the right are beginning to sound desperate. We are so deep into the Primaries and no one is on tract to get to 1144
    Mississippi and Alabama will be split among the canidates which hurts all of them and leaves the Republicans with no clear cut leader.
    Romney may limp across the finish line but he will be so battered and bruised he will have nothing left for the General

    March 13, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  18. JuanVonDinklus

    Brainwashing your kids isn't a good thing Santorum unless you want them to be mind numbed robots for the rest of their lives. Oh wait, that's your objective.

    March 13, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  19. jp

    Responding to a comedian with a heated response is just adding fuel to the fire. Santorum isn't that smart, but we already knew that.

    March 13, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  20. Independent Thinker...

    First off...comparing Rush to Bill is laughable in it's own right. Rush is a syndicated radio commentator and there are people that listen to him and do everything he asks. Bill is a commedian and has a show on HBO where people laugh at or with him. As far as his comments about Santorum, I tend to agree. When people stop worshipping an invisible man in the sky, the better we will be as a world. This is unlikely to happen in my lifetime but it will happen one day I hope. There is too much hatred brought on by religion. I leave you with a quote: "I contest that we are all atheists. I just believe in one less god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."

    March 13, 2012 03:42 pm at 3:42 pm |
  21. Mrs G

    Well, Rick, he is a comedian and an entertainer. Smile at the comment like you did Rush Limbaugh's crude remarks.

    March 13, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  22. Phil from Dallas

    I'm hoping that after the election in November, this nut disappears, but, hell, I thought Palin would too, and that didn't happen !!!

    March 13, 2012 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  23. RillyKewl

    Please send your 12 year olds to argue reason + logic with Bill Maher on Real Time. We'll do it live!
    Yes, please. Let's see your little geniuses arguing logic. Bring it.

    Everybody saw your toothless electorate friday night arguing for your values. Very impressive.
    Let's see their kids come on + argue their reasoning. Or send your teens.

    March 13, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  24. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    His kids are too good to go to pulbic schools. His and the others too.

    March 13, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  25. Tina

    Yeah...if I was a guy I'd be threatened too. He's drop dead gorgeous, he's smart, he iant afraid to say what he has to where it counts while you other ...whatevers...are hiding in hear faceless. He's got what people in here don't. I'm voting for him!

    March 13, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
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