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. Lone wolf

    He is running for President, a position that requires that he represent all a Americans. Apparently he does not see it that way since he decided he did not want his kids attending school with ordinary Americans. He did not even see fit to let them attend Catholic school. Since he claims to be a devout Catholic, real devout Catholics would have had their children enrolled in Catholic school.

    March 13, 2012 09:50 pm at 9:50 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    >>>"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.<<<

    Well, he is teaching kids away from the public to indoctrinate his kids to go for delusional man made stories of some magical mystical figure that somehow communicates that we should do what Rick Sanatorium believes the magical mystical power guy says.

    Sounds like a slam dunk case of sheer lunacy.

    March 13, 2012 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  3. Lifehiker

    I've seen Santorum's version of home school up close. It works when parents stay close to their kids and drill them like military cadets. They can get great grades and do well in sports, too. However, Maher's comparison to "madrassa" isn't far off. Lots of these kids can't wait to dump the rigidity and indoctrination when they reach maturity or go off to a college where they get exposed to other views. Good luck with your kids, Rick – they will grow up.

    March 13, 2012 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  4. GI Joe.

    OMG – Romney said Santorum was too moderate to be his VP. Who is out there in that far far far far far right-wing la la land? Bachmann? Palin? It just gets scarier every day. Talk about back to the 1800s.........................

    March 13, 2012 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  5. Jason

    "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" – So the evidence presented that his son will out reason Bill Maher is based on an unsupported claim that that Bill is illogical. Interesting.

    March 13, 2012 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  6. Eric Jacobson

    Rick Santorum is a lunatic, and makes me embarrassed to be a Pennsylvanian. I agree with Lone wolf: He's simply pandering to one demographic. He certainly does not represent me, or I'm guessing the vast majority of Americans (Christian or otherwise) who don't subscribe to his flavor of Godcrazy. Thankfully, he'll never be elected to the Presidency. If he were, and he even tried to turn our Democracy into a Theocracy, there would only be one cure – the same cure that created our country in the first place: Revolution...

    March 13, 2012 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  7. Kelly T.

    There is no way you can strengthen the public school system. It is a disaster. Homeschooling provides children with quality, often one-on-one, education. Public schools are zoos, holding cells. Sending children to public schools is child abuse. I applaud Rick Santorum for homeschooling seven children. Our current president has made the choice not to send his children to public schools, Santorum has made the same choice.

    March 13, 2012 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  8. Chris

    Maher is right.

    March 13, 2012 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  9. Sotzume

    Rick Santorum is a nut....and any serious discussion about him is ridiculous. Bill Maher just points that out.... If the Republican party has gone so far to the radical right that they actually vote Santorum in as their nominee, its time to do away with them. Who's next, Hilter????

    March 13, 2012 10:25 pm at 10:25 pm |
  10. Mary

    Maher is a comedian – he can't help it – the material is coming at him fast and furious from these clowns.

    March 13, 2012 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  11. suzanne

    Go Santorum!!! Bill Maher is disgusting!

    March 13, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  12. Trent

    I hate both of these fools, but Maher is correct.

    March 13, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  13. The Oracle

    Excellent. Bill Maher hit the Santorum nail squarely on the head. Sometimes does the truth not only hurt, but stings. And as others have pointed out, why did Rick Santorum not send his children to Catholic church? Were the Catholic schools near him and his children too liberal compared to him? Or was he so afraid of his children being tainted out in the general public among all the ravening heathens that he sought to sequester and insulate them? Please tell me again why Santorum is running for president, because based on his inflammatory comments about public education it is obvious that he'd like nothing more than to remake our public educational system into his warped and twisted version, exporting as it were his home-schooling madrassa out into the rest of society. Is Santorum nuts?

    March 13, 2012 10:31 pm at 10:31 pm |
  14. A M Boyd

    Rick Santorum does not have a chance in hell of winning anything except his pointed nose. And that bears watching also.

    A M Boyd

    March 13, 2012 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  15. atc333

    What I see is a Republican who by his home schooling his children is admitting the public school system is lacking, but rather than seek to correct the programs and issues resulting in the failures of the public system, he simply pulls his kids out, something the common family cannot do. Face it, he is just one more Republican who knows he is better than the rest of us, and makes no bones about it..

    March 13, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  16. James Wetterer

    According to Wikipedia: "The word madrasah literally means "school" and does not imply a political or religious affiliation, radical or otherwise."

    March 13, 2012 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  17. Michael Rae

    I have learned that bible thumpers are the do as i say not as i do crowd.Then the bible thumpers hid behind the bible doing folks dirty in the name of GOD. So Rick you dont want kids to go to college what do you want them to do,rob, steal and pilliage? I guess that way end up in the penitentiary so you and your right to work crowd can get an unlimited supply of free labour. Rick we know from scientific analysis that people have been here more than 6000 years and to be honest thats always been my problem with the bible. Faith is ok, bilnd faith to me is dangerous.I hope you win the nomination Rick because if you think you can out talk, out campaign, and out raise Barack, you really need to be praying.

    March 13, 2012 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. Doug

    I think Santorum is a snob for homeschooling his kids.

    March 13, 2012 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  19. Sam Whitney

    The fact that people would actually vote for this guy scares the heck out of me. The "women should be barefoot, pregnant in the part" makes me more nervous than Obama. ANd by the way, religion has no place in politics, it belongs in churches not in policy, hence the seperation of church and state. We are becoming a religous state instead of a democracy that protects ALL people, of ALL faiths and ALL beliefs. VERY Scary.

    March 13, 2012 10:40 pm at 10:40 pm |
  20. McGuffin

    Is Santorum really that stupid that he thinks Maher was bashing him for being Christian instead of for cloistering his kids off away from reality and an education that broadens their knowledge? Also, why is it that everything Maher says suddenly becomes the opinion of the *entire* left to these people? He is ONE MAN.

    March 13, 2012 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  21. nonfisheater

    santorum is a classic catholic nutball. He is absolutely unapproachable on most topics. He will burn out just like my catholicism did when I started to read and (god forbid) think instead of believe that catholic crap..

    March 13, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  22. Brian

    while it was an assinine comment, it isn't far off and unfortunately Santorum doesn't hold the same standards for what he says as he does for others.

    March 13, 2012 10:47 pm at 10:47 pm |
  23. Mark Stout

    Factual error in the article: Rick Santorum is most definitely not a devout Catholic. I was raised Catholic and the only thing challenging to read in the house was a Bible blessed by Pope Paul IV, and the things Santorum professes publicly would've got him thrown out of any Catechism class I ever attended. Rick Santorum only opens his mouth to pass hatred, and does not follow the path, nor the teachings, of Jesus. CNN, do not ever try to state that Santorum is a "devout Catholic"; he's not even a Christian.

    March 13, 2012 10:48 pm at 10:48 pm |
  24. Mason

    We don't need crazy fundamentalist Muslims and we sure don't need crazy fundamentalist Christians....As President!!! Ever seen "The Dead Zone"?

    March 13, 2012 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  25. Ramse

    Maher 1 Santorum 0

    March 13, 2012 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
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