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. NewYorkGeorge

    What do Obama, Santorum, Romney, Gingerich, and Paul all have in common?
    None will be President this fall

    March 13, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  2. JD

    Santorum is poised to lead the West in the new Crusade.

    Christian extremism, good. Muslim extremism, bad. Got it.

    March 13, 2012 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  3. haightstreet

    I've yet to understand what Santorum would actually do if elected. He can't possibly think his narrow view of life can guide the entire people of the US. We are too diverse. He "rails" often, and not very effectively. It would be better if he just spilled the beans on his own agenda.

    March 13, 2012 05:22 pm at 5:22 pm |
  4. Digital Backlash

    Hey, Republicans
    listen up.
    You know what your problem is ?
    Your party has been hijacked by the far right,
    but instead of fighting to get it back, you are trying to defend it.

    You cant even use the old "fiscal conservative" term anymore.
    So your current crop of candidates are throwing social issues out there.
    Wont wash.
    My mom is a 78 year old Catholic Republican living in Massachusettes.
    She had six kids, one of them gay, and she thinks the Republican party has gone over a cliff.
    Even the older generation is waking up to this joke.

    Get rid of the Tea Party members in congress.
    Get back to basics, and drop the social garbage nobody is buying anymore.
    Maybe you will have a shot in 2016.

    I hate to put it this way....
    Stop trying to fill up the clown car.
    Wont work.

    March 13, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  5. tonyl

    "Christian Taliban Sick Rick Santorum" is offended by Bill Maher. He will not take it anymore. He will insult Maher by calling him "snob". Anyone who is graduated from college is a "Snob". Santorum will never send his kids to college. He believes they teach Islamic religion in the colleges and he does not want his Children anywhere near that. Look at what college did to Obama? Made him a Muslim. Santorum prefers his kids rather live in a trailer park, home school and attend church. He wants to see women pregnant and barefoot in the kitchen. But they can attend Church. No other social connections because women can get out of the control of their men.

    March 13, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  6. sgurdog

    Bill Maher is the one being held to a different standard. He was after-all fired from his network show for his dissenting opinion of the definition of cowardly. Rush isn't a comedian, Bill is and he's airing his opinion on HBO which is a CABLE show that people choose to purchase from their cable provider. Rush is on public airwaves spouting his hateful rhetoric which is the opposite of what Bill does. There is a BIG difference and it's illogical to say there's a double-standard for anyone other than Rush Limbaugh, who has been fully entrenched in the political establishment and has made hundreds of millions of dollars spreading Republican propaganda.

    March 13, 2012 05:23 pm at 5:23 pm |
  7. jo an

    I don't like all of what Maher says but I can say....I would much rather have had Bill as a parent then Rick...I had a version of Rick....a Fundamentalist Mother...BLESS HER...took a lot of therapy to deal with her...Bill you could just laugh...Bill has consciousness he does not believe in 'mind control....he says about guns...'WHY do we love them so much'? He has most of my values....I can do without the potty mouth but that is how he gets us to listen...and I do...every Fri. night...

    March 13, 2012 05:24 pm at 5:24 pm |
  8. M. Simons

    I, personally, don't approve of home schooling since I believe these children need the social contacts that only come with school activities and friendship. A good friend home-schooled her children and insists they have "all kinds of friends" – the problem is that their friends are only members of their church. Santorium is so crazy in his views, I can't even imagine what would become of this country if he were President – God help us!!!

    March 13, 2012 05:25 pm at 5:25 pm |
  9. bcm

    Since Santorum reqiested, and received, $75K from his school district to accomodate online classes for his kids (while he was actually living outside of the district) he seems to be a hypocrit. Plenty of parents who have to work to keep their households running could afford to home school their kids with that kind of payout! He's such a hypocrit that I can barely stand to look at him. (By the way, check out his wife's history and you'll see that they are 2 hypocrits who deserve each other!)

    March 13, 2012 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  10. Atomic Punk

    Folks on the left are not trashing conservative values. They are trashing the folks on the right who want to push those conservative values on everybody and make them the law of the land. Tolerance for others' beliefs & ways of life just doesn't seem to exist with these people.

    March 13, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  11. Frank

    Actually, Maher was highly accurate. Santorum is a right-wing Christian terrorist. Most of our founding fathers were Deists (Jefferson even re-wrote the New Testament), Washington refused to take communion, and Franklin did not go to any particular church (though the Congregationals claimed him). They were afraid of religion and politics, having just come out of the English Civil War largely over it. In 1798, Adams even stated in the Senate that "by no means was the United States founded as a Christian nation." Sorry, Bible-thumpers.

    March 13, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  12. Amazing

    But, Rick did not have the courage to stand up to Rush for his inappropriate comments. What a hypocrite!

    March 13, 2012 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  13. tom clements

    Homeschooled children unfortunately outscore all publicly educated kids on every type of standardized testing, including those delaing in logic prroblems. Bill M. is just plain wrong. Just for the record what is the size of his audience? Just because you get media attention in this country does not make you an important voice.

    March 13, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  14. Feed Your Head

    klamerus

    Is anyone really surprized by Rush's comments..

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

    Looks better this way.

    All bow before the magnificent mind of Maher.

    March 13, 2012 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  15. Ol' Yeller

    Santorum is doing well in the primary because he dishes out the red meat and the code words with the bigots, rednecks, and religious zealots that make him popular in the dying party on the right. Problem is, in the general election one must run to the center (tried and true, the right cannot win with the base alone). Romney, of course, is stumbling because the right wing now extends far out over the abyss of Fascism; so far that it must be scary for a fairly reasonable and sane man. No matter how much he wishes to be Prez. The fun part (which we will never get to see, but would be fun) is seeing santorum trying to run to the center; since he thinks it is just to the left of the abyss.

    March 13, 2012 05:31 pm at 5:31 pm |
  16. smellarat

    The lack of understanding of what being a Christian stands for is exponential here. Brutally so.

    March 13, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  17. ashley

    madrassa is the arabic word for school.

    Rick Santorum- Bush's Monica Lewinksy

    March 13, 2012 05:34 pm at 5:34 pm |
  18. Sheila

    Bill Maher....Stand Up Commedian HBO purchased Cable TV. Rush Limbaugh public airways. People laugh at Bill or turn him off. People laugh at Rush and turn him off. The problem is Rush spews hate and always twists the truth and even LIES and millions of sheep believe him.
    Santorum is just a brainwashed fundamentalist and by the way....the founding fathers were diests not fundamentalist Coo-Coo's! The founding father's were well educated lawyers with brains that had endured enough of the Kings rules and the war of protestants, Catholics and the Church of England. Let's get that right folks!

    March 13, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  19. Me IN HOUSTON

    Why is railing against Bill Maher?
    Bill Maher is a comedian
    He is not a leader of liberals or progressives ore even Democrats!
    We don't follow him, we just watch his show
    This is NOT the GOtP!
    We do NOT raise our entertainers to the level of de facto leader.
    You are dealing with a court jester and you are going to make yourself look foolish in the process

    March 13, 2012 05:35 pm at 5:35 pm |
  20. wolfpackbob

    If Maher had any cajones, he would accuse a Muslim and use the madrassa term in the same unfavorable light. But Maher is a coward because he knows he might be beheaded in his driveway. Christians are soft easy targets. Maher is a weasel.

    March 13, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  21. SadDayInUsa

    "I just think about my daughter Sasha and Malia and how they would feel if someone called them such a name". Gee Obama did u think of them when Maher called Palin the 'c' word. How about when Gerry Brown called Meg Whitman the B word. Well that's ok because that is towards conservative women. "There is a "War on Women" only when it is a liberal woman.
    And the dumb women will buy it so lets go with that". Yep women who buy this are really stupid!

    March 13, 2012 05:37 pm at 5:37 pm |
  22. Mischief Managed

    THEANTIRICK

    Not that it matters to me, but jesus according to historians was a dark skinned liberal so ricky boy probably wouldn't like him. So much for being christ like.

    Thats ok, according to Hollywood, Jesus is a blue eyed blond hunk, definitly liberal,
    maybe gay, hanging around with 12 of his best dudes, wearing sandles and a toga, and drinking wine.
    The guy had no job.
    Santorum wouldnt like him either, probably a Democrat.

    Just cant win with these Republicans.

    March 13, 2012 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  23. Sandy

    I agree with Maher. I'd love to see Rick's 12 y/o son try to take him on. That would be awesome! I hope he has him on his show.

    It would have been nice if Santorum addressed Maher's other comments, namely that he thinks Santorum would be in favor of PPACA because of his daughter's medical condition. If someone with Trisomy 18 (Edwards Syndrome) were to be born into a family without as much money as the Santorum's, he or she would not have lived as long as Bella has. They are very lucky that they can afford her care. Hopefully, PPACA would help families without as much money as them, so they could enjoy more time with their child here on earth.

    March 13, 2012 05:39 pm at 5:39 pm |
  24. Double Standard

    I think Rick is the one with the double standard. When asked about Rush's comments he stated that they were absurd, but that Rush was an entertainer. The same can be said about Maher's comments, while absurd, he's just an entertainer. Rick can't can't be offended by offended by Maher's comments by states that Limbaugh's comments are OK.

    March 13, 2012 05:40 pm at 5:40 pm |
  25. SadDayInUsa

    Oh yeah I forgot. Bill Maher never made millions of dollars spreading his liberal propaganda. Who was that teenager with the nasty lip piercing? How come the liberal women are not screaming that a grey, old, turd like Maher boast around Hollywood with 18yrs olds? Where the heck is Gloria Allred & NOW?. Well he is a liberal. He can do no wrong!

    March 13, 2012 05:42 pm at 5:42 pm |
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