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. sal

    Henry,
    thanks, I guess my content was correct since you had no comment, except for the spelling error.

    BTW, are you really a fan of Bill M.?

    March 13, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  2. Budget Analyst

    The Right comparing Limbaugh and Maher is apples and oranges. Boss Limbaugh has sponsors, Maher is on cable (HBO). Remember, not too long ago, Maher was fired from ABC for some of his points of view. ABC has sponsors. That is why Maher made the jump to cable. Maybe Bossman should go to HBO as well.

    March 13, 2012 05:02 pm at 5:02 pm |
  3. Kyle

    Santorum is dim, Maher is not having a double standard, he is pointing out christian hypocrisy.

    March 13, 2012 05:03 pm at 5:03 pm |
  4. Jane

    @TC: "intelligent" and "compassionate" – - two concepts that I have yet to see being evidenced by Mr. Santorum. And I'm pretty sure he's not teaching either of these concepts to his children. By the way, 'madrassa' just means school, like 'ecole' (in the dreaded French language). So, Mr. Santorum's response pretty much proves that he doesn't have 'intelligence'.

    March 13, 2012 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  5. Bob the Janitor

    Good to know that you leftists think there's nothing wrong with Billy Maher, the poster child of everything that is wrong in America.

    "Christian madrassa"? "Virus of reason"? "Mythical being"?

    Go right on ridiculing God...he respects you enough to give you what you want. In the end, you're not going to like it very much...hehehe.

    March 13, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  6. Eli

    Sorry Rick S. Biill Maher probably went to college and that makes him a clone of Obama. You do not not have to worry about your kids being cloned, they are home schooled.

    March 13, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  7. Freddo

    Rickie me boy, you can teach your kids anything you want...so I agree with you on Maher.

    But ... what you can't do is take that faith of yours and try and apply it to the rest of us. You're so far over the line in your religious views and how they apply to your role in PUBLIC office ... and you just don't get it.

    Thankfully, you haven't a chance of succeeding in the GOP primaries, never mind in the general election.

    March 13, 2012 05:05 pm at 5:05 pm |
  8. Kristen

    I'm fine with people teaching their faiths in their homes...as long as they don't try to force me and mine to live by their theology.

    March 13, 2012 05:07 pm at 5:07 pm |
  9. j.j santa monica

    rick, bill maher isnt your problem. the women of this country wont forget about your attack on their power of choice over their own reproductive issues. and women vote.
    you can home school your kids and teach them any kind of christian nonsense you want.
    but you stepped on the third rail when you messed with women's rights.

    March 13, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  10. Dan

    The scariest part about this election cycle? Rick Santorum has had almost two million people vote for him in the primaries. If Gingrich would have gotten out of the race months ago there's a real possibility Santorum and Romney's positions would be reversed. Even scarier than that possibility? The latest polls have Santorum running neck and neck with Obama in the general election. The divide is ever widening. The left actually needs to radicalize before these neo-conservatives push the spectrum so far to the right that what we see as centrist today becomes the socialism of tomorrow.

    March 13, 2012 05:08 pm at 5:08 pm |
  11. Reggie from LA

    "blacks on welfare" "women can't handle combat pressure" "folks on the left hate Jesus"
    The red meat generalizations just go on and on. If Santorum doesn't agree with it, it must be wrong and everybody but him, therefore, must be wrong...in general. Tyrant probably. Leader? No. President? Not a chance!! If that were to happen it will have been because we are very stupid. He has conveyed to us that he has esteem issues. Were we not listening?

    March 13, 2012 05:09 pm at 5:09 pm |
  12. klamerus

    Is anyone really surprized by Maher's comments..

    The only thing Maher considers "legit" is his own opinion. if Maher didn't think it – it isn't true. If Maher is against it – then it's wrong. Maher first, Maher last, Maher everywhere in between.

    All bow before the magnificent mind of Maher.

    March 13, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  13. Back To The Cave

    Santorum would be in heaven if:

    Gays went back into the closet (concentration camp)
    Woman back into the kitchen (barefoot and pregnant)
    Blacks back to the end of the bus (If they are allowed on the bus)

    March 13, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  14. Angelica

    This whole "people on the left" thing is a generalization, and so Rick Santorum is basically saying that a democrat could not possibly be a Christian, which is not true.

    March 13, 2012 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  15. Bobby Bankston

    Have you ever thought about the reality that if atheists are right that existence ends at death, they will never know that they were right? Based on what I perceive to be the most prevalent personality and character traits among atheists, that fact must really tick them off.

    March 13, 2012 05:11 pm at 5:11 pm |
  16. Ol' Yeller

    Is Rick talking about the same son who yawned something like 23 times when his father gave his sermon, er, I mean, victory lap in Ohio (prior to the state even being called). I watched his little speech where he really thought he was on a roll but his kid was bored to tears. I'm sure the kid's smarter than his father (almost have to be, it would be hard to be dumber), but ready for Maher? I seriously doubt it...

    March 13, 2012 05:12 pm at 5:12 pm |
  17. Genius

    Santorum is awesome! He'll save us from this mess caused by the liberals!!

    March 13, 2012 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  18. Guitar

    Why didn't Santorum send his kids to catholic parochial school? BTW, we homeschooled our kids not for religious reasons, but to nurture and educate them better than our public school could, (which is failing by our state's grading system), and to keep them away from the gangs and thugs that have taken over our schools, and they did just fine, now both on Dean's list in college, Don't know why Santorum kept them home, but to brainwash them for religious ideology is a form of abuse. We taught our kids to think on there own, and to discover their own truths.

    March 13, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  19. Peter

    So liberal are out there trashing Christians? Really? Where? Oh, those Christians? the ones like Santorum who go against just about everything Jesus taught? Yeah, I don't think those are Christians.

    March 13, 2012 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  20. Guitar

    BTW, that should have been spelled 'their' not there, my error for typing too fast! :-)

    March 13, 2012 05:15 pm at 5:15 pm |
  21. Jeff Duflo

    Maher is basically stating an opinion about Santorum. He did not spew blatant vulgarities about his family. Know the difference. Maher has been crass in the past, and doesn't deserve a free pass, this one however is small potatoes.

    March 13, 2012 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  22. Jim

    I tend to agree with the general idea here that home schooling can be rather narrow, and that it would be better for children to get exposed to a wider view. This doesn;t argue with any legal rights the Santorums have to home school their children f they want to and perhaps they get excellent results.

    March 13, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  23. Anthony A

    The last few weeks we have seen Rush criticized for free speech and many articles demanding he be banned from the air solely for speaking. We are now seeing criticism over home schooling children?

    Really? You think home schooling your children is terrible? As if sending them to a terrible public school would be a better choice. Sometimes I think the Left is just ridiculous. AND you think this warrants criticism how? Thousands of families home school their children and not all of them are religious either.

    March 13, 2012 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |
  24. Satan

    @Bob the Janitor- No, Bob, hehe... it is you who is going to be in for the surprise! God IS Reason and you folks just never got it! Your insistence in believing in a mythical person and not getting the true message of God is what has doomed you hee... hee.. har... de.. har... har... har...
    He sent his son to tell you to throw out the money lenders. Help the poor and downtrodden. Love your neighbor.... but Noooooooo.... you twisted this into the right to bear arms and attack your neighbors. To bash gays and people of race... to close your doors to your neighbors and ignore the poor and helpless.
    See YOU soon, Bob! You moran!

    March 13, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
  25. FLIndependent

    @Glen – "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"
    _________________________________
    Actually, you just proved my point – the President can't control gas prices. However, I would say the reason why so many blamed Bush for higher gas prices was because it was well known that the Bushes and the Cheneys were oil people.

    March 13, 2012 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |
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