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. S.O.S.

    @Glen HBO is cable doesn't have to cave to pressure from religious fanatics like network television. So you and the three other people you're talking about can drop HBO and the rest of us will keep watching Game Of Thrones!!!

    March 13, 2012 04:08 pm at 4:08 pm |
  2. Ian

    It's impossible to get behind republicans when they so eagerly display that they don't use the scientific method. Their lack of critical thinking in that aspect shows that they don't value the advancement of science and technology, the hallmark of a good economic outlook.

    March 13, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  3. kevin

    Republicans, especially ultra right wing conservative christians, do everything possible to AVOID using logic in the first place.

    If Santorum wants to win, he has to accept and appeal to those of us against him. His nastiness turns off a lot of people.

    March 13, 2012 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  4. RillyKewl

    Thank you, @Omar!
    Nice list. Cash for Clunkers was a huge success too.
    And the recent mortgage settlement from the Banksters was very impressive as well.

    March 13, 2012 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  5. fernace

    Why is religion suddenly so important that our public servants, running for office, are trying to outdo eachother in the "good christian" hype!? None of them qualify for holding Jesus cross! They are hateful, vindictive, negative & hypocritical! Calling a woman a prost.itute for testifying for employer/insurance birthcontrol coverage, is not the same as making a comedic comparison! Limbaugh & Maher have been compared a lot in the media lately, but how can you compare a sarcastic, tounge in cheek comedians comments, to that of a sarcastic, meanspirited, namecalling, misogynistic, self-professed conservative leader, who recomends hatred as a matter of course! Mahers comments were certainly "in your face," but not really untrue! I mean, isn't homeschooling a measure taken by parents who don't want their kids indocrinated by customs & rules they don't believe in or adhere to!? Not quite the same as calling a woman derogatory names!!

    March 13, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  6. Steve in texas

    All the home-schooled students i've ever met have came across as severely socially-immature to the verge of social_retardation. Some barely know how to form sentences correctly and have extremely poor social skills.

    March 13, 2012 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  7. Chuck

    Hey Lando-are you another leftie that thinks success (including financial success) is no good? what's wrong with him having "made millions" (if he truly has)?
    Maher is a piece of garbage.

    March 13, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  8. Steve in texas

    A shame Santorum didn't come out against Limbaugh so strongly. One man's entertainer is another mans trash I guess.

    March 13, 2012 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  9. RillyKewl

    BTW, Bill Maher is a genius. Sanctorum is fool who lost by 19% in his last election. That is a rare, enormous fail.

    March 13, 2012 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  10. bobby frank

    Santo wants to put every law thru the religious test to see if it is worthy of keeping or getting rid of so look out if you don't have the same religious views that he has. Bill Maher is just a comedian by the way and not always on the side of democrats.

    March 13, 2012 04:14 pm at 4:14 pm |
  11. FLIndependent

    I can't imagine not going outside the home for an education. Children need to learn social skills and live in real life, not just inside their home environment. There is absolutely nothing wrong with sending your children to public school and if you want them to have "religion" too then send them to a religion based school. Who wouldn't want their child to grow up with many other children, play sports with them, go to school functions, compete against them, and graduate with them – to me, these home-schooled are missing out on life.

    March 13, 2012 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  12. Dance This Mess Around

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

    I am constantly being called "libtard" and our "president" is refered to as "obummy".
    You get what you give.

    March 13, 2012 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  13. rika33

    Maher stopped being funny or interesting long ago. He is like Newt Gingrich or Sarah Palin without the guts to run for office and see if he could represent anyone.

    March 13, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  14. RillyKewl

    Rick's job is basically to Spread Santorum. So, that's what he's doing.
    It may be gross, but its his job.

    March 13, 2012 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  15. caribbean

    Can you imagine the economy, if the Right, and the far Right said i want this president to succeed!
    I'm just saying...:-)

    March 13, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  16. whitespideralex

    "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"

    see he is smart enough to understand that god is on the opposite side of reason... this comment alone says everything

    March 13, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  17. max33333445555

    i think its great that he educates his kids at home. if he wants to pay school taxes and not use the services, more for other kids.

    March 13, 2012 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  18. Bruce A Parton

    What is wrong with you Democrats.In your attempt to discredit anybody and everybody who does not follow the herd
    mentality, you've missed the reason for why the Bill of Rights exists.Individual liberties,self determination, free from the nanny state and Government control over our personal choices to do what we damn well please.The trough is there
    for you liberals who can't or won't think why America has earned the right to be considered a Great nation.
    .

    March 13, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  19. bobster26

    This Idiot Santorum realy thinks he can be prez? get real! He and his wife should have been practicing birth control, Hell...his parent should have practiced birth control. santorum is so weak and such a geek. we need somebody tough, somebody who grew-up in the trenches. not some "MAMA'S BOY" Who looks like he's ready to cry at the drop of a bible. Billy boy ( Maher ) right, tells it like it is,....HA!...HA!

    March 13, 2012 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  20. v

    Santorum=Christian Taliban

    March 13, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  21. Bubba

    Don't like it? Go on Bill Maher's show and complain, and don't say he wouldn't let him on. He has right-wing crazies on there all the time, even Breitbart. It was actually the kindest I ever saw anyone on either side be to Breitbart.

    March 13, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  22. 4sanity

    There may be good reasons to be home schooled but religious isolationism isn't one of them. Maher is correct that many parents who home school their kids do so to instill religious orthodoxy in their kids. That's why he referred to them as a madrassa. And there is nothing stopping parents sending their kids for a public school education but including religious instruction in after-school programs or Sunday school. Happens in all countries. But then that doesn't meet the goals of those fantic parents intent on control and indoctrination.

    March 13, 2012 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  23. Anne

    my 12 year old french speaking son could take Santorum on any day of the week and twice on Sunday (especially on Sunday :-)) This guy is the epitome of stupidity

    March 13, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  24. rick

    Who said he pays a tutor to teach his kids? Maybe his wife teaches them. There are many parents who choose to home school their kids because they can provide a better education then our school system can. Besides what does his personal life have to do with his plans to improve our country. Also gas prices were low because the econony was bad and ever since Obama stop issueing drilling permits our gas prices have gone up.

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

    ummm... aren't there ELECTIONS going on today? And he has nothing better to do than talk about his 12 year old picking a fight with a comedian? If he's going to make a response to every criticism a comic spits out, he'll have no time to talk about his real plan for how he would run the country. Wait... what IS his plan?

    March 13, 2012 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
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