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. Sean

    The truth shall make you free, Rick. And truth hurts too.

    March 13, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. FLIndependent

    @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"..
    ________________________________
    You may want to direct your outrage about the gas prices to your Repub/Tea Party Congress as the prices of gas under the Dems for the 1st two years was relatively low. It was only until your party got control of the House that prices starting rising and haven't quit ever since – coincidence??

    March 13, 2012 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  3. Dance This Mess Around

    **** When people have to speak without Telepromters, only illogial idiots will speak.

    Maybe you should try one.
    By the way, every president since Reagan has used a teleprompter.
    illogial ?

    March 13, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  4. Lando

    Correct me if I'm wrong...homeschooled means you can afford to get private tutors to your house and teach your children. Not too many can afford that huh...Santorum made millions before and after senate seat...

    March 13, 2012 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  5. Glen

    Sure EBROWN by Marassa I'm sure he didn't mean anything derogatory he was only stating his observation lol He sure fooled you didn't he.

    March 13, 2012 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  6. Vader

    Let's see...

    Economy still weak (though getting stronger).
    US embroiled in a foreign occupation that has no foreseeable good outcome.
    Gasoline prices skyrocketing.
    etc.. etc.. etc..

    and THIS is what a man who wants to be President of the United States chooses to whine about?

    March 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  7. HIppoCritter

    What a sanctimonious bag of wind Santorum is. Tell you what, Ricky – I'll borrow $10,000 and bet you that Bill Maher could wipe up the floor with you and your whole family. Logic? I doubt that you can even spell it, much less understand it.

    March 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  8. Debby

    I don't like Maher but Santorum is odd.

    March 13, 2012 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
  9. HIppoCritter

    Meant to say, I'll borrow $10,000 from Mitt Romney.

    March 13, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  10. RillyKewl

    @Glen, that's why we're winning, right? That's why the economy continues to rise back up.
    Or maybe that's why the GOP is so desperate they had to bring back the spanish inquisition.

    March 13, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  11. Glen

    FLIndependent Hmm that makes sense that explains rising prices during Bush's second terms when the Dem were in control and you were blaming Bush for gas prices, talk about coincidence lol

    March 13, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Alpha Collins

    Home schooling might be the right choice for some families, but in general children emerge so indoctrinated by their parents' social and political values and views that they are unlikely to ever escape them. Santorum is in no way qualified to be President of the United States, and listening to his speeches and interviews in past months leaves me convinced he shouldn't be trusted with the education of anyone else's children but his own. Good luck to them, they will need it.

    March 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  13. Omar Dice

    The current administra­tion accomplish­ments are impressive despite a openly hostile Congress and difficult to cover in his State of the Union speech, here they are-

    Ended war in Iraq by enforcing a bilateral agreement made between Iraq and the U.S. in 2008.
    Passed equal pay for women.
    Expanded eligibilit­­­y for State Children's Health Insurance Fund (SCHIP)
    Passed new benefits package for veterans.
    Passed new credit card bill of rights.
    Expanded loan programs for small businesses­­­.
    Made greater investment in advanced military air technology­­­.
    Made U.S. military aid to Pakistan conditiona­­­l on anti-terro­­­r efforts
    Created a real National Infrastruc­­­ture Protection Plan.
    Appointed White House Coordinato­­­r for Nuclear Security.
    Granted Americans rights to visit family and send money to Cuba.
    Released presidenti­­­al tax records.
    Provided affordable­­­, high-quali­­­ty child-care­­­.
    Rescue of the American hostages from pirates.
    Rebuilding schools in New Orleans.
    Passed the new Start treaty.
    Invested in new alternativ­­­e energy sources.
    Major investment in high speed rail.
    Saved GM and Chrysler.
    Saved banks.
    Market at highest point over 12,000
    Passed financial reform.
    Passed healthcare reform.
    Appointed first Hispanic SCOTUS Justice.
    Repealed DADT.
    Stopping of oil gusher and got 20 billion$ from BP.
    Passed bill to save our teachers.
    Has consistent­­ly added jobs since taking office.
    Stopped the Keystone Pipeline.
    The eliminatio­­n of OBL and Al Awlaki.

    March 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    to EBROWN a Madrassa is the Arabic word for SCHOOL, not Islamic School. If it happens to be Islamic or teach the Quran then it is an Muslim Madrassa or a Quran Madrassa or it is an American Madrassa in any of the middle eastern countries. Like many things that people associate as Islamic, is nothing but an Arabic word for something that would be considered general in English. Another example is Shariaa Law, which is a redundant term the first being in Arabic and the second being in English or Jihad which is the Arabic word for struggle or Allah which is the Arabic word for God.

    March 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  15. Sagebrush Shorty

    Bill Maher is just another foul mouthed, no talent, so-called comedian who thinks that his opinions really matter in this world.

    March 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  16. Todd

    To those comparing Rush Limbaugh to Bill Maher I say this......Maher's show and thus his comments are on HBO which you have to pay and subscribe to. Limbaugh's show is on the public airwaves, where anyone can listen.

    March 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  17. bill dunn

    Bill Maher is about the only person on tv who consistantly makes sense. HBO won;t take his show off the air because HBO, audience is well educated and can think for themselves which is the reason HBO always wins the most awards for
    its inteligent series and movies. I,m sure Bill would be happy to have Ricky S., Newt and all of the knuckleheads on his show, but they wouldn,t be able to bring with them their sound bites, and they would have to answer to their ridiculous previous statements without the element of spin and an advisor dragging them away.

    March 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  18. mikeinsf

    this guy is a pig and a racist. you will have plenty of time to home school your kids when you lose the nomination.

    March 13, 2012 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  19. dongp71

    Well said Hippo.

    March 13, 2012 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  20. EnjaySea

    Bill Maher is certainly blunt when expressing his views, but his disdain for Santorum is completely justified.

    Anyone who campaigns for the president of a secular country, citing his religious views as credentials, then states very clearly that he disagrees with our separation of church and state, is not only a dangerous man, but is also a valid target for ridicule, and I'm glad we have Maher out there pointing out his flaws.

    March 13, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  21. Bob

    Rick (and many on the far right) believe that they have exclusivity to Christian and moral values. I beg to differ. I am a Christian but have views that vary by the issue. I believe that we all want similar opportunities for our children, enjoy freedoms not permitted in other places and want the same opportunity for success. I have many liberal friends that also have strong religious beliefs. The point is, don't let the far right convince you that those that don't share their views are void of moral fiber.

    March 13, 2012 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  22. Vance

    I've just read 15 consecutive posts about this article...Santorum's supporters have all addressed Bill Maher by his name. Bill Maher's supporters have address Santorum as "Sanscrotum", "Ricky", and "Idiot". People ask what value religion has in society, perhaps something as simple as manners.

    March 13, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  23. Joey

    When you teach your kid's a 2,000 year old fairy tell, and expect them to listen to every word it say's; you deserve to be made fun of.

    March 13, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  24. Mark

    Saruman missed the point. He is a public figure running for office and part of the consequence of that is putting yourself out there for ridicule. Sandra Fluke was testifying to congress, a totally different situation.

    March 13, 2012 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  25. Julie

    It isn't surprising that Santorum home schools his kids. Extreme forms of religious belief are just about impossible to inculcate in anything but a vacuum of other ideas.
    Mahers joke hits a soft spot – it is sad that Santorums beliefs are so fragile that he cannot permit exposure to other ideas. It calls into question his ability to tolerate, accept or understand points of view that differ from his own – not a very good predictor of his fitness as a leader of a secular, Democratic nation.
    It also occurs to me that calling Obama a "snob" for wanting college to be accessible for all is pretty hypocritical coming from a guy who's such a snob that he deems no-one able to educate his kids like HE can.
    Beware of the Santorums of the world – they'll want to junk public schools and put the responsibility of education on parents – home school 'em if you're poor and pay for it privately if you're well-off. That way, we'll have a nation of ever more ignorant people who lack the critical thinking skills to reject would-be leaders like Santorum.

    March 13, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
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