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. Glen

    Agreed Derp HBO has no sponsors, I say the rest of us just pull our subscription of HBO from our Cable and Satellite once and for all, that ought to hurt them ouch. They will drop him like a brick when they feel the pinch just like ABC did when he said incensitive things about the 9/11 attacks back then...

    March 13, 2012 03:44 pm at 3:44 pm |
  2. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    Gotta add a comment on Home Schooling. A number of families who do home school also try to restrict their children's social activities, too. Those children are the ones who have troubles outside "the bubble". On the other hand, I have friends who live in a rural part of CT (yes there are parts like that), where the local school does not challenge the kids enough. This is what happens when a state as small as CT has 150+ school districts that are totally independent of state control as long as the kids can pass a "mastery test".

    My friends actually teach their children in accordance with a State of CT curriculum, and add to it. What makes thing different with them is their children are allowed to interact with other kids who attend more traditional schools, and also interact with adults very well, asking intelligent questions of us and not accepting bogus or "pap" answers. So there are some good home schoolers, as well as some that should be investigated for child abuse.

    What worries me is when kids attend "Christian Academies" that teach off a "Bible Based" curriculum. The current pastor of the church I attend sends his son to one of these places. Our previous pastors sent their kids to public schools, knowing that by interacting with others, they would get a more well-rounded education. Some of the other differences? The current pastor came to us from a small community in Northern Vermont where the only minorities were French-Canadians and members of the Mohawk Nation. The previous pastors came from larger urban areas with much more diverse populations.
    As I stated in an earlier post, I attended Catholic School for Primary and Secondary education, and attended a private university founded by the Methodist Church. While attending there I had many excellent conversations with Roman Catholic and Episcopal priests, Methodist, Congregational and Baptist ministers and Conservative, Orthodox and Hassidic Rabbis. I seriously wonder if Santorum has ever had a real dialog with any member of the clergy, including RC Priests, or if he only accepts the Catechism teachings of the Bishops as the only acceptable dialog with any minister. One of my closest friends is a Roman Catholic priest, and he shakes his head in shame whenever Santorum brags about his Roman Catholicism, reminding folks that not all Catholics are like the former Senator from Pennsylvania.

    March 13, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  3. Tubby the Tuba Texas

    Santorum is an idiot!

    March 13, 2012 03:45 pm at 3:45 pm |
  4. Anonymous

    Not folks on the left, shallow one. Stop with your silly, righteous generalizations. I'm a Catholic, on the left. I believe that I have very credible Gospel values, as opposed to you, who supports war, capital punishment, a preferential option for the wealthy, and an opposition to the DREAM Act. – all contatry to Catholic Teaching, o limited Pro-Life one. Is there anyone left for you to hate? You are dangerous, Ricky. I would not want you to serve in public office for the samr reasons that I would not want Maher or Limbaugh to serve in public office. You all just hate way too many people.

    March 13, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  5. UncleM

    Relgion needs ignorance to thrive. That's why Sanscrotum attacks education and science, and home schools his kids.

    March 13, 2012 03:46 pm at 3:46 pm |
  6. RillyKewl

    You fundies can dish it out, but you sure can't take it, can you?
    Keep home-schooling. Keep turning out those little geniuses you keep making. They're great!
    They ran the Bush administration, and that was a huge success, right?

    March 13, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  7. ThinkAgain

    Folks like Ricky, what with their out-of-touch "traditional values" can exist in my world, but I, with my feet firmly planted in the 21st century, where women decide what to do with their own bodies, science supercedes myth and fairy tales, and the reality that trickle-down economics DOES NOT work, cannot exist in Ricky's world because I threaten his tenuous, patriarchal domination.

    And that is why, in this election season, I am doing everything I can to defeat the likes of Ricky at the polls. There is too much at stake to stay home this November to allow the likes of Ricky to gain control.

    March 13, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  8. UncleM

    Relgion needs ignorance to thrive. That's why Santorum attacks education and science, and home schools his kids

    March 13, 2012 03:47 pm at 3:47 pm |
  9. EBROWN

    A Madrasa is an Islamic school: a school for the study of Islamic religion and thought, especially the Koran

    OKAY, so what is wrong with a Christian based Madrasa...seems like people are more Islamophobic than they are willing to admit.

    Bill Maher again exposes the hypocrisy of the religious right fanatics who only believe their religion is RIGHT

    March 13, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  10. Patrick

    So he doesn't deny it. Truth hurts!

    March 13, 2012 03:51 pm at 3:51 pm |
  11. Sue

    Santorum's kids went to school with my kids when he was serving in the Senate – he did NOT home school them for the whole six years he was here in DC. Very nice family. Smart kids. Oh, and I am a liberal. Just trying to be fair here.

    March 13, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  12. Miguel Caron

    “Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be religious people.” – House M.D.

    March 13, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  13. Dance This Mess Around

    **** 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.
    ------------------------------------------------------------

    Here is proof people, of the power Rush Limbaugh holds over his listeners.
    There is nothing wrong with Flukes character or behavior in talking about womans health issues.
    But Limbaugh calls her a few names so it must be true.
    Judging by most of the comments they dont even know what the discussion was about.
    Rush said it, must be true.
    Pretty sick.
    Limbaugh should not be on public radio.
    See how many redneck fans he has when they have to pay for it.

    March 13, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  14. NYCMovieFan

    We the people stopped listening to Santorum when he allowed a crazy personat a town hall event to assert that President Obama was not born a US citizen, and did nothing to stop that blatant, twisted, evil lie. Someone as spineless as Santorum is an embarassment to the US, proven again by his mock attempt to send his little boy out to fight for him. Come on, Santorum, now you're playing the Hunger Games with your kids? Go home already.

    March 13, 2012 03:52 pm at 3:52 pm |
  15. DERASA

    Bill Maher makes fun of everybody. Although he's wrong on this one... Santorum shouldn't listen to him. He has the right to teach his children the way he thinks is apropriate for his family.

    March 13, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  16. Glen

    "Independant thinker" I agree wtih your comments about Rush and Maher but not about God as He is real and Jesus is real not some invisible man in the sky As real as you are to your kids. "A fool says in his heart that there is no God" but His handiwork is all throughout creation.

    Religion may sometimes become corrupt but God is not about religion but about relationships. A God shaped vaccuum exists in all of us when we cast God out we fill ourselves and put ourselves or other objects in His place and that is where all the trouble begins Sometimes with Communist, Socialism, Capitalism, Fascism, Humanism, Atheism or just plane hatred for God creation. A broken and a contrite Spirit is what God desires of us and that begins with Humility, give it a try and all the hatred will disappear and Peace will reside when God enters in, just the way we were created to be.

    March 13, 2012 03:53 pm at 3:53 pm |
  17. keithadewey

    Here is the difference between Bill's ranting and Rush's. Bill looks at behavior and consequence and interprets what he sees. Rush lies and bullies a gender. Certainly not the same.

    March 13, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  18. RillyKewl

    I'll bet Sanctorum doesn't teach his kids science. How could he? He doesn't believe in it.
    Except that he's all for fossil fuels. The fossils that were planted there as a hoax, right?

    March 13, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  19. Grundoon

    Trashing a private citizen, as Rush did, is a whole lot different than trashing politicians, what Bill Maher does. Not being able to see the difference shows a complete and utter lack of critical thinking ability.

    March 13, 2012 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  20. Shut up

    Oh, Rick. If your child believes in God, then he loses already. Fact.

    March 13, 2012 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  21. Jake

    @DERASA He might legally have the right, but he should not. Indoctrination of children is child abuse and it's about time we recognize that and prevent it. Adults can believe whatever crazy things they want, but brain-washing children and convincing them to believe in things that are almost definitely untrue (and at the very best, unknown) is wrong.

    March 13, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  22. dongp71

    Seven children? Number one, he needs a vasectomy. This man scares me more then having another Hitler running for president, and unfortunately, some people don't see it. The reason McCain lost the election, was Palin, when people were afraid that if MaCain died, she would be president. Now you have a person, just as dangerous running for president.

    March 13, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  23. Glen

    Yeah RillyKewl like a hippies currently in the WH are doing a real great job, aren't they lol

    March 13, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  24. RillyKewl

    @Dance This Mess Around, thank you.

    March 13, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  25. Joe from CT, not Lieberman

    The traditional rule in running for political office is the children of the candidate were always off limits unless the candidate dragged the kids into the spotlight. The Republicans broke this rule first with Chelsea Clinton, and then with Malia and Sasha Obama. Neither Bill Clinton nor Barak Obama brought their kids into the spotlight. They were forced into it by the Republicans. By the same note, Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin both thrust their kids into the spotlight and then complained when they were "targeted" by comedians (as opposed to party hacks).

    March 13, 2012 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
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