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. Syte

    Most of the people posting here have an incredibly inaccurate picture of most things conservative.

    As a result, they are incredibly intolerant; and not too far removed from Bill Maher.

    Our family happens to be Catholic, conservative, and homeschooled. We also happen to be successful scientists with children who can see the connections between faith, reason and science.

    For anyone who has an interest in understanding those people they disagree with instead of trashing and name-calling them like Bill Maher does, see my socio-ethical-political-blog at http://syteReitz.com .

    Santorum is right: logic and reason are in short supply with the radical left. That is why ridicule is so often the tool of choice. Liberals who are not radical should reexamine where their leadership is headed.

    March 13, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  2. @RainCityLady

    Maher's comments about Santorum's home schooling were actually taken from a overview of the comments Santorum himself made about education in general and his attack on Obama's speech about educating beyond high school, to which Santorum was opposed. Maher's theme was that people like Santorum want to shield their children and apparently the children of others, from any kind of critical, independent thought. On that same show, Maher took the side of Freedom of Speech on the Rush Limbaugh/Sandra Fluke debacle because he said he doesn't believe in stifling an opinion that you don't like and don't agree with. As has been pointed out, Bill Maher is a comedian on a paid for network; Rush Limbaugh thinks he's the voice of the GOP on a tax payer paid radio station. Big difference. Perhaps Rush should take his dog and pony show and join Howard Stern. At least Maher knows history and researches his topics before he makes a statement.

    March 13, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  3. Bill

    ClearandPresentThinking: Like President Obama and Fox?

    March 13, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  4. Sy2502

    Santorum can protest as much as he wants, Bill Maher still probably has it right. I'd like to be a fly on the wall at the Santorum home when they learn biology (Adam and Eve talking to snakes and riding dinosaurs), geology (rock stratification is the result of the Great Flood), or medicine (diseases are caused by god, not germs).

    March 13, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  5. out of step

    Rick, you don't even have the mental capacity to debate Mahar... let alone your son. But let me make an educated guess and tell you that at least 3 of your children will rebel againest you once they are out of the house. They may even appear on Bill Mahar show to tell what hell you put them through growing up. Seems to happen to about half the children raised in strict christian homes.

    March 13, 2012 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  6. Max

    Attack on religion?

    Bill mayer doesn't attack religion. This is quite clear that he only intends to reveal to the general public, who is unaware that this kind of activity still takes place in 2012. This is an attack on 'indoctrination'. Indictrination should be outlawed in America.

    This is the same kind of indoctrination we are fighting against in the Arab world. They are called 'Islamist extremists' and Santorum obviously is a 'Christian extremist'

    As Americans we should fight against any form of religious extremists as they are DANGEROUS in any society. What can be in Santorum's mind as he takes this approach to 'so-called' education. Can we even imagine how extreme America would become with Santorum at the help?

    He is REALLY, REALLY, SCARY! As scary as colonization and slavery. Everyone should join Bill Mayer in attacking this kind of 'indoctrination'

    March 13, 2012 01:14 pm at 1:14 pm |
  7. Chris

    While the facts are that home-schooled kids actually do quite well socially and scholarly, there is truth in what Mahar says. Most of the people I know who home-school their kids do it for religious reasons, they are sure their children will be infected with teachings contrary to their own. I think faith should be able to stand scrutiny, it's when you take the Bible literally that you come into conflict. It wasn't written that way–it comes from oral history, and is full of allegory. The literal interpretations are a modern invention by those who haven't the brain cells to deal with allegory, abstraction and multiple ways to truth.

    March 13, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  8. Mark

    "Christian madrassa", By definition this would translate to a Christian School. What is Santorum upset about unless he's a biggot?

    March 13, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  9. JWR

    I believe Bill Maher's attack isn't necessarily on religion but on those who are hypocrites who don't practice what they claim to believe. Most Republicans who publicly declare they are Christians publicly don't practice what they so adamantly preach. The product of the Christian is, according to the Holy Bible, love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Trashing the President, lying, greed, favoritism and deceit don't qualify as Christian characteristics. Bill Maher is attacking hypocrites, not religion. Rush is attacking

    March 13, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  10. doublestandardssuck

    There is no proof of who we or this earth came to be here. No matter what you choose to believe, it requires faith. NO ONE has a right to tell someone what they will or will not teach their child. I love the left, they scream "you will not shove your values down my throat, but open up, here come mine." Hypocrites.

    March 13, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  11. Tom

    If Santorum is such a devout Catholic, why does he not send his kids to Catholic school? Perhaps the Church'e teachings on social justice don't jibe with his right wing economic thinking?

    March 13, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  12. jack

    If you and your wife are spending all the time out on the campaign trail, who's at home doing the home schooling?

    March 13, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  13. lEWIS

    MY GOD!! THE ONLY CHRISTIAN IN THIS RACE IS PRESIDENT OBAMA.

    March 13, 2012 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  14. Paul

    Maher is a talent-less loud mouth who's head is stuck up his a#%

    March 13, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  15. Sorensen

    Poor, uneducated children. They will pay a heavy price later. Sanatoriums bible-banging theories are as crazy as he is.
    Besides, Bill Maher has about 100 times more personality and IQ as Sanatorium.

    March 13, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  16. David

    Anybody who home schools a child, for any reason other than a medical issue, is an imbecile.

    March 13, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  17. quinLee

    @Rev Rick–I totally agree. Mr. Santorum should take a closer look at himself. It seems he spends a great deal of time trashing others. Also, the holier than thou approach has a tendency to backfire simply because no one is perfect. Those skeleton bones tend to whack pretty hard when you least expect it.

    March 13, 2012 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  18. Joe The Plumber

    Santorum sounds like an conservative elitest home sohooling those children – must think their children are too good to be with those secular kids..

    March 13, 2012 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  19. Honest131

    Note: Rush Limbaugh is on public radio with sponsors. Bill Maher is on HBO without any sponsor other than HBO. Its really that simple.

    March 13, 2012 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  20. Jilli

    I thought Mahers madrassa comment perfectly described Santorum and the education of his children. It was descriptive, not offensive.

    Actually, I'm much better with Rick keeping his personal madrassa personal rather than giving him the opportunity to try and turn our public schools into similar operations.

    I've about heard about all I can stomach of the supposed (and imaginary) "persecution of christians"

    March 13, 2012 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Please, Maher does not get a pass: he issued a statement telling liberals to back off Limbaugh. The real issue is that Maher can defend himself against the rightie invective by being smarter than they are.

    March 13, 2012 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  22. Brian

    Jo7n77:

    This actually has nothing to do with Limbaugh. This is abot Maher's comments about Santorum and his children.

    March 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  23. kenajones

    See Novak, if Bill were a misogynist and/or a closeted gay, wouldn't he be Republican?

    March 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  24. Kimberly

    This is not about women see novak, its about home schooling. Clearly by your lack of sticking to the subject, you are a home schooled child.

    March 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  25. Patrick

    The funny thing is that, even though Maher said those things in "the wrong way", or in his case, the right way toentertain his audience. The Fact of the matter is that the statements are true and Santorum can't even believably deny them. Thats exactly why he's home schooling his kids, he wants them to act and think and do things that ancient teachings says are right, and shelter them from discovering the true beauty (and autrocoties) of this planet, not just logic and reason.

    March 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
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