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."

– Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

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. dina

    Why is Santorum stressing religion and faith so much. This does not belong in government, especially his one sided view of religion. How can a man so caught up with mythology run this country? He can't

    March 13, 2012 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  2. Rick Stassi

    Thanks, Mr. Maher. You just helped me decide who I was voting for. I would like to see you debate William Lane Craig. It would truly be a comedian against and intellect. You need to get over yourself.

    March 13, 2012 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  3. Cathleen

    why does this even matter. Bill's not running for office! AND, the issues Americans care about are NOT how our President feels about religious matters. Come back to reality Santorum.

    March 13, 2012 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  4. Wowsors

    I love you Bill Maher!

    March 13, 2012 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  5. Jeremy

    I think Mr Maher was on to something.

    March 13, 2012 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. jim

    Funny thing about Maher is he is funny and smart to boot. Santorum is neither.

    He and Newt are scary guys and can't believe anyone takes them seriously

    March 13, 2012 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. brian in denver

    Not sure, but my guess is the Santorum Home School ignores the reality of science, takes issue with the honesty of diversity and fairness, sidesteps challenging concepts and in general encourages intellectual suicide. Wow! How do I sign my kids up for that?

    March 13, 2012 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  8. old11706

    I wonder why the Santorums home school their children. The Catholic church usually has parish schools available.
    Perhaps the religion taught in the parish school is not the Santorum version?

    March 13, 2012 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  9. SantorumIsChristianInNameOnly

    "Christian conservative" is an oxymoron. Jesus would not have anything to do with the right-wingers who invoke his name constantly. Mr. Santorum, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor...

    March 13, 2012 06:33 pm at 6:33 pm |
  10. Fed Up

    Santorum will set women's rights back, a hundred years. Wouldn't vote for him if he was the only one running.

    March 13, 2012 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  11. WhoDat

    I saw the Maher monologue and it was one of his best. It was very funny but apart from that I've had experience with relatives who strictly limit information to their children about the real world so they can better indoctrinate them with their extremely harsh and strict beliefs. Sure it's legal but it's also pretty cruel. The kids hate being kept in the dark and they grow up so naive, scared of the world around them, and intolerant of even the slightest difference in those around them.

    March 13, 2012 06:38 pm at 6:38 pm |
  12. Orwell proven

    My son can beat up your dad.

    What kind of Christian is this?

    March 13, 2012 06:42 pm at 6:42 pm |
  13. dwt

    How interesting that Santorum's assumption is that it's fine to educate your kids religiously in Christianity but that there is something wrong with Madrassas. Maher is not pronouncing on Madrassas, but drawing an analogy between two species of insular religious education in the Abrahamic tradition. Sound analogy.

    March 13, 2012 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  14. Lar 5

    Hallelujah brothers and sisters. I thought this was an election but Newt and Santorum have turned this into a revival meeting. We need to be saved from both of them. Perhaps by some miracle both will shortly disappear. The founding fathers did not want a theocracy.

    March 13, 2012 07:03 pm at 7:03 pm |
  15. mike

    Get used to it Rick. When you stand in judgement of all the rest of the human race based on your self centered, self righteous, not so Christian rhetoric this is what you are going to get. The more you yell, the more indignation you show about how others measure up to you the weaker your true faith really is. There is more coming and it isn't good news for you.

    March 13, 2012 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  16. hansdick

    SadDay: Sorry you are sad. Drop the hate. You might feel better. Not very Christian of you.

    March 13, 2012 07:16 pm at 7:16 pm |
  17. Leigh2VA

    If someone went after me for homeschooling my children, I think I'd push back as well. Santorum has addressed it, but now he should let it go and not make it a big issue. People like the Mahers of the world are always going to find a way to attack and put people on the defensive for their beliefs and how they function as a family unit. Good grief. Just stop the hatred already!!!

    March 13, 2012 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  18. Marc from Florida

    Parents have a right to home school their children – One of many decisions that has undermined the quality of education in our nation.

    March 13, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  19. george

    Brainwashing religion into children is a very bad thing. Especially bad is telling kids they will go to hell if they do something wrong. This is child abuse plain and simple.

    March 13, 2012 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  20. Mi Poo

    Please take your "Christian conservative values" as far away from my government as possible. Go right ahead and worship as you wish, but stop trying to integrate your religious beliefs into U.S. law. Thank you for your time and attention.

    March 13, 2012 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  21. Carol

    .....And of course we all know how logical Santorum is.

    March 13, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  22. Russ

    Oh and Santorum? Don't even think about pitting your 12 year old against Maher. He is sharp as a whip and probably as knowledgeable as you if not more so on most political, national and worldly subjects. He would shred you and your 12 year old to bits in a debate of logic.

    March 13, 2012 07:28 pm at 7:28 pm |
  23. judith

    If Rick Santorum wants to keep his overly large brood away from the real world, that's his buainess. bit it does disqualify him from being President of the rest of us secular Americans. If he doesn't want to strengthen public education (which he obviously doesn't believe in) then he has no business being President.

    March 13, 2012 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. Elroy Jetson

    My dad wouldnt send me to college, he couldnt afford it.
    Does that make me a "wanna be" snob ?

    March 13, 2012 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  25. Chuck

    I can't believe we have a major presidential candidate talking about this openly. JFK is rolling in his grave. I am so glad I voted this loser out in PA and replaced him with one of the best senators we've ever had (Bob Casey). I didn't realize that he may end up as president. I'd rather have him back as senator than be president as he'll so less damage!

    March 13, 2012 07:38 pm at 7:38 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31