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. Sashatree

    Bill Maher is my hero! He helps our family laugh at the insanity of the country we live it. If you ask me, Bill Maher is the perfect definition of a patriot! Keep telling it like it is, Bill!!!!

    March 13, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  2. Ramon F. Herrera

    Far righties despise Bill Maher for two possible reasons:

    (1) They do not get his humor.

    (2) They do.

    March 13, 2012 07:43 pm at 7:43 pm |
  3. roro

    Santorum could have easily sent his children to Catholic school if he wanted them to follow their faith. Home schooling keeps them from social situations and interactions that all children need. Showing your children just your side of things and allowing them to only learn what you want them to learn is like a personal family cult. Children need a broad view of the world to succeed in it.

    March 13, 2012 07:46 pm at 7:46 pm |
  4. RTfromIL

    Bill Maher's actual profession is stand-up comedian; he also hosts a comedy show on HBO called Real Time.

    March 13, 2012 07:50 pm at 7:50 pm |
  5. e

    I personally don't give a crap what candidate Santorum does in his home. But I think part of the irony here is people of his ilk are so accustomed to passing judgement about how everybody else chooses to live their lives the and interfering with things that aren't their business, they are a little put off when the shoe is on the other foot.

    March 13, 2012 07:52 pm at 7:52 pm |
  6. Texan

    I can't wait till the election's over and he's just another paid contributor on Fox News like Palin, Huckabee, Herman Cain, and the other people who lost.

    March 13, 2012 07:57 pm at 7:57 pm |
  7. Carlos

    If Santorum lets Maher get under his skin, how is he going to handle countries around the world burning his image in effigy?

    March 13, 2012 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  8. aja

    Do we really want a president that distrusts the US public school system so much that he won't even send his children to one?

    March 13, 2012 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  9. Murder By Numbers

    Most of this country is....
    Center right...or
    center left.

    The current occupent of the white house is center left.
    The current GOP candidates are so far right they are off the map.
    But that is going to change when whoever gets the nomination
    has to go back to the center.

    Social issues wont work. (people dont care, its called freedom)
    Fiscal responsibility wont work. (Bush spent like a drunken sailor)
    Jobs wont work. (Your Tea Party got in on jobs, then did nothing)
    Debt wont work (Tea party caused our credit rating reduced)
    World affairs wont work (Bush stopped looking for Bin Laden/Obama got him/credibility has gone up)
    Domestic responsibilty wont work (Health care for all Americans and yes we want it)
    No child left behind wont work (Lower the standards and hold the teachers responsible)
    Taxes wont work (Tax breaks on the back of middle America to take care of the rich...nope)
    Military wont work (Rumsfeld once said that you go to war with what you have....sorry,
    You dont go to war unless you absolutely have to, and then you do everything you can to protect your troops
    and make sure they have whatever is needed to protect them, and make them succesful)

    Republicans have failed the American people over and over and over.
    Enough.

    March 13, 2012 08:12 pm at 8:12 pm |
  10. Dee

    Who cares what Santorum thinks about Bill Maher or anything else. He is not going to get the nomination. He was done before he ever started.

    March 13, 2012 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  11. Dave

    Are you smarter than a talk show host ? That's what Mr. Santorum should be asking his 12 year old son. It's only by understanding the view points of both sides that you can have an appreciation for the center. It only allows you to speak more intelligently when you know more. When you speak only from the extremes and have no knowledge or understanding of the other side, you will never be able to convince anyone of your point of view.

    March 13, 2012 08:17 pm at 8:17 pm |
  12. Deb

    According to the Southeast Missourian, Santorum warmed the small crowd up by telling them: "It's good to be in the hometown of Rush Limbaugh, which some people see as a trip to Mecca."

    March 13, 2012 08:30 pm at 8:30 pm |
  13. dean

    If wish Maher would shut it, he's making Obama look bad and a lot of us that support him are Christians..

    He's doing more harm then good.

    March 13, 2012 08:36 pm at 8:36 pm |
  14. Darshan

    Please, for the love of God, let Santorum win these primaries. I'd love to see Santorum get lambasted by Maher on a weekly basis.

    March 13, 2012 08:38 pm at 8:38 pm |
  15. Fiery Fly

    Would love to see Bill Maher interview Santorum. Or debate with any of the Santorum kids.

    March 13, 2012 08:41 pm at 8:41 pm |
  16. Tim

    Santorum is the most sanctimoneous narcissist I've seen in a long time. Anyone this judgmental is going to judge YOU – no matter who you are – and find YOU not worthy. If that's what you want in your leader, hey, go for it.

    March 13, 2012 08:44 pm at 8:44 pm |
  17. Jdh

    Why would anyone willingly pay HBO to produce this drivel!

    March 13, 2012 08:49 pm at 8:49 pm |
  18. blog a bee

    Santorum running the Christian Hadassah just shows how much Israel and AIPAC are influencing our politics. It's time to put a stop to... what's that? That's not the word? Um, never mind.

    March 13, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  19. canuck

    it's fascinating watching the hysteria being played out in the USA just now; who in their right mind (apart from the mullahs) thinks you can mix religion and politics. thought your founding fathers called for separation of church and state? and the GOP is the party of Abraham Lincoln? he must be spinning in his grave.

    March 13, 2012 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  20. Coflyboy

    Pope Santorum speaks again. Separation of Church and State means nothing to him.; just another Republican hypocrite.

    March 13, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  21. Ron in Ca.

    I used to watch Mahr until his humor became vile personal attacks on anyone who does not agree with his views. He has in my opinion proved himself to be a high paid low life.

    March 13, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  22. marty

    One day the country will see the 'real' Rick Santorum, and wince. Hope that day is soon.

    March 13, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  23. John Tompkins

    If Biill Maher's parents would have simply paid attention to him when he was growing up, the world would be a better place. We would not be subjected to his egomaniacal attention-seeking, smarmy inane hypocritical commentary, and the uneducated Hollywood "elite" would not have a "source" for their news.

    March 13, 2012 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  24. kimi

    Santorum's needs to keep his religious ramblings to himself. It is against my religion to listen to his religiously preoccupied drivel. This guy will never become POTUS so he may as well go home to his religious cult life. BTW: Bill Maher is smarter than you on his bad days.

    March 13, 2012 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  25. A Southern Lady - North Carolina

    Rick Santorum is a far-right fundamentalist and he scares me to death. If this man should get anywhere near the oval office, the rights of women would be set back a generation. As I hear him speak I can not understand how any educated, intelligent women could possibly support him. For your daughters, nieces and women that you love – do not vote for this man.

    March 13, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
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