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. Anonymous

    Yeah right, Santorum's son could debate Maher by mindlessly reciting bible scriptures.I see religious indoctrination as child abuse and Santorum responding to that clown Maher as stupidity.At least, Romney has the good sense to leave his wacky religious beliefs to himself.

    March 13, 2012 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  2. Vince

    We're slowly turning into Iran with all this religious pushing going on.

    March 13, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  3. Cal Mendelsohn

    Is there any doubt that people are better off learning to get along with others as children who are different than themselves. Isn't segregation of any sort the path to arrogance and violence? How many wars were started in human history on the basis of "We are right," and how many will be?

    Let's teach our children that our way is not the only way no matter which way we see the world.

    March 13, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. roscoe

    Maybe Rick will accept an invitation to go on the Maher show and explain his position. Perhaps, Christine O'donnell could join him. Maybe she could be his VP choice.

    March 13, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. EuroTrashhh

    Just think, if Santorum gets so upset by this little joke, what will he be like as a president when he is mocked or challenged? How will he react to the President of Iran's often aggrivating comments? Somehow I don't see him keeping his cool if he goes after KNOWN lefty comedians!

    March 13, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Malory Archer

    KMW, you got a problem with the First Amendment? What is with the tighty righties – always wanting to silence those with whom they disagree? And don't even get started about the fat, reichwing radio bloviator – he verbally assaulted a PRIVATE citizen for THREE DAYS STRAIGHT using FREE, PUBLIC airwaves! little ricky is a politician, and if he can't handle the truth, he should pack up his stuff and go home, 'cause politics ain't for wimps, whiners or crybabies.

    March 13, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Boytjie

    This from a guy who won't speak up when his supporters keep pushing the "Obama is a Muslim" lie.

    March 13, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. B

    Santorum Invites this kind of hit on religion because people want to hear about the Job issues and the Economy and Santorum only will talk religion and wag his finger at anyone that disagrees with his right wing extremism.. He talks like the Angry- over the top Preacher.

    Remember Separation of Church and State ?

    March 13, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Patriot

    Maher has a show on HBO. You pay to have that show. Rush uses OUR TAX DOLLARS to broadcast his oxycontin views.

    March 13, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  10. Rev. Rick

    ....Quoting from the Article,......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."

    "Folks on the left?" – That's a pretty broad brush stroke there, Mr. Santorum. What you're saying is, unless you're "on the right" (or is that on the Right?), you are incapable of teaching family values or having the right (Right?) faith. Mr. Santorum, you, and most of the current crop of GOP candidates, are the very reason I no longer consider myself a conservative. And if you are supposed to be an example of a "Christian Conservative", I no longer want to be one of those either. You, Newt Gingrich, and even Rush Limbaugh, are all cut from the same cloth.

    March 13, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  11. Keith A. Sillsbury

    I had neighbors that home schooled their kids. Always bragging on how they could read and do math. Then came time for the state exams and VUALA they failed. so the parents send the kids to public school where the children felt soooo out of place.

    March 13, 2012 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  12. Mikey

    @Woman – I watch and enjoy Bill Maher, but I do sometimes cringe at his attacks on religion. I understand he disagrees with the whole religion thing, but that disagreement doesn't require disrespect and venom.

    That being said, I think Santorum misses the point. The problem with religious based home schooling is not that people teach faith to their children at home. The problem is twofold; (1) probable deficiencies in the teaching of science in favor of religious based pseudo-science and (2) separating your children from people of differing views. While that may be his right, it is a disservice to his children. It is part of the reason why we seem to have an increasing level of intolerance of differing people – we are becoming increasingly segregated – in communities, in church, on-line, and in the news we choose to hear.

    March 13, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  13. Chris

    John M., plese spare us your bible verses. Do you see anyone on here citing any other fiction novels? There is seperation of church and state for a reason and despite the right wing rhetoric, that is exactly what the founding fathers wanted. If Rick Santorum wants to home school his kids, that is his choice 100% but it absolutely is b/c he does not want them being taught the same evidence based facts that the rest of us learn. This IS the same man who called Obama a "snob" for wanting all Americans to have a college education. The nerve of Obama wanting that!!!

    On a side note, a study done in Canada over a 30+ year period recently concluded and found that children who score lower on standardized IQ tests are far more likely to become "conservative" and "right-wing" in there thought process and politicals. They are more likely to be racist, to not go to college and to be below the poverty line. What a shocker!

    March 13, 2012 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  14. @twbutts

    So funny that Santorum completely missed the point here.

    March 13, 2012 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  15. GROVER NORQUIST IS A ENEMY OF THE STATE

    NEW RULE: If you home school your children, you should be required to pass a test proving that you are qualified to teach.

    March 13, 2012 12:48 pm at 12:48 pm |
  16. Max

    Home indoctrination?..SCARY!

    The overwhelming majority of us were unaware of the fact that Santorum indoctrinates his children. Is he REAL?

    ...and some of us want this 'Christian extremist' to be our next president? Is he really aware of the fact that this is 2012 and not 1800? The way he 'indictrinates' his children can be compared to the indoctrination by the European colonial machine in the hay days of' colonization and slavery' with a view of converting the heathens to Christianity, so they could 'control their 'imaginations' and manipulate their personal reasoning abilities.

    OMG! Santorum is SCARY!!!

    March 13, 2012 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  17. Jose Luis Diaz

    I grew up in Southamerica where religion and catholisism is in your bones. One year of my catholic life is 10 of Santorum's life. I know that because I have been living in teh States for the last 30 years and I have numerous catholic friends and know many freaks like santorum. what he preaches is simply absurd, ignorant primitive and moronic but I don't care about him. hwat biothers me is that there are thousnads and thousnads of sheeps that follow him and believe what hes says. For all you Christians and Catholics, wjat is the first thing Jesus was? he was humble and rejected wealth! Santorum and many other so called Christians are far from that! they are just opportunistic liars!

    March 13, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  18. mjmullinii

    Yes...if I was Rick Santorum I'd be desperate to change the subject anytime I had the chance too.

    March 13, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  19. Please.....

    Santorum is the candidate that just keeps on giving and giving....to comedians.

    March 13, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  20. Jo7n77

    Once again everything has gone way off topic. This all started with Rush Limbaugh. What did Maher have to do with any of this? First of all Maher does not hate or degrade women. When he talks about Palin or Bachmann he goes after thier logic not thier gender. Santorum is a joke. This whole thing is a joke & waste of time. This was never about Maher this was about Limbaugh. Sometimes i question the logic of many people when they have the attention span of a two year old & so easily forget what started all this & thats Rush Limbaugh..

    March 13, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. Ron B

    Catholic Indoctrination is CHILD ABUSE...... My Money is on Bill for telling the truth. A vote for Santorum puts the vatican a bit closer to runnning the country. I hope the baptists realize that the catholic church condems them as it does all who are not bowing down to the pope...........

    March 13, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  22. ART

    Rick Santorum is the head of the American Taliban, he wants to run our government as a theocracy.

    March 13, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  23. mojcrt

    Santorum is the scariest person I know of.... Bill Maher for Pres over this guy!

    March 13, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  24. Loren, Keene NH

    @ Max
    The overwhelming majority of us were unaware of the fact that Santorum indoctrinates his children. Is he REAL?

    Are you real?

    I homeschooled my son because of the large class sizes, violence and allowing pregnant girls to be in the same classes as my then 14 year old son when we had moved to AZ.

    I found a school that wasn't religiously based, Pear Blossom Private School, and my son flourished. He went to college and is now doing well in the business world.

    Bill Maher has totally gone crazy. He is anti marriage, anti religion, anti family values and pro druggie. I used to like Bill Maher but his attacks on conversative woman and now innocent children go way above and beyond a comedian type humor. It is sick!!!!

    March 13, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  25. Starstuff

    Hey idiot! Bill Maher is NOT running for president. Bill Maher is a comedian and a political satirist which is usually right in his comments.

    The religious right in the US is a TREAT just like the Taliban is to the middle east.

    March 13, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
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