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. Kimberly

    Home schooling is NOT just a conservative thing, we have the home school loons on the left too

    March 13, 2012 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. FRANK - LAS VEGAS

    One last thing that I left out, little Ricky comparing himself to the law student who advocated for contraception coverage is just plain ridiculous. One is a private citizen and the other is a very public outspoken on all subjects. Typical though, he doesn't agree with her view point so he resorts to calling her names, very mature. But Rush wasn't called on that by any of the GOP, except that perhaps he used the wrong words. Which means then, that they agreed with the basic satnd of Rush's comments, just not those 2 words. REALLY?!?

    March 13, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  3. Jilli

    Hey, lay off Mr. Santorum and his very own personal "indoctrination mill"!!!!

    March 13, 2012 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  4. jsilva

    You know, come to think of it, I haven't seen Santorum at the Playboy Mansion either.

    March 13, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  5. anagram_kid

    I knew a family that homeschooled their children. It was a control move by the father. He did not want his wife to interact with other people and did not want his children to know anything that he did not. I realize this is not true for all home school devotees, but like the gentlemen I knew, Sen. Santorum really strikes me as someone who can only compete by holding everyone else down.

    March 13, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  6. NVa Native

    Although I support home schooling when the goal is to promote intelligence and rational thought – to educate, religious zealots who do it to control or limit what their kids learn so as to promote or impose their religion of choice onto children to me is a form of child abuse.
    None of us "owns" our kids, they are not our property to do with as we please.

    March 13, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  7. GODZILLA1

    Oh man – Ricky has provoked the sleeping Maher – get ready to have your butt handed to you Santorum ("Santorum = butt).

    March 13, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  8. Tree

    No back bone......cry cry cry............None of the REP have back bone, but they know how to BS and some Americans are going for it..........But some Americans are not because they can think......... Rick the SICK get over it...

    March 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  9. chelle

    So let me understand this – a Muslim religious school is bad, Christian is okay. Homeschooling by Muslims = Bad, Homeschooling by Christians = Good. Santorum can say colleges are indoctrinating liberal (once again with that whole liberal is a swear word) ideas, but Bill Maher can't point out a Presidential Candidate's hypocrisy????

    March 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  10. sikpupi

    So Maher's comments stung. Good. These religious fanatics need to be stung for their weird and immodest beliefs. They actually think they are so important that there's a god that watches their comings and goings. I am not a god, and neither do I know any, but I feel reasonably sure that no one with godlike powers would give a rat's derriere about what Santorum does, thinks, or says. The self-important hubris of the religious is insufferable.

    March 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Igotmesomesantorumonmymouth

    religion is fiction

    March 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  12. randumb guy

    Ya gotta love it - the far right conservatives are lashing out AT A COMEDIAN. Not attacking the politicians they are hoping to run against, not putting forth well reasoned policy statements. Twain was right - never argue with an idiot.

    Speaking of idiots - let's open up drilling! We could increase out output by 50%!!! That'ls add 4.5% to the global supply which the speculators will gobble up like an hors d'oeuvre. A 4.5% supply bump is not going to give us $2.49 gasoline. We are already a net exporter of distillates thanks to the cheap nat gas supply.

    March 13, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  13. SLP

    Let me just give you nonreligious folks something to chew on here for a moment. This debate about birth control, which all of you insist isn't an attack on religious freedom, need to realize that it is. This is just the first step in the our government's war on religious freedom. This affects everyone even those of you who choose to not have any religious beliefs. So if you wish to be able to freely state that your an atheist, you better open your eyes and start paying attention.

    March 13, 2012 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  14. russ

    Watch "Too cute" on Animal Planet instead of bickering.

    March 13, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  15. Paul1st

    Santorum completely missed the point of a phrase like "Christian madrassa". Mayer draws the analogy of Islamic religious schools with the Christian religious environment in the Santorum household. Santorum should embrace that he shares values with the Islamic schools. Both Santorum and the madrassas see modern Western civilization as evil.

    March 13, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  16. The Reasonerababble

    Oh, by the way:
    WHEN the gop candidates stop calling our President "socialist, communist, muslim, kenyan, outerspacer, martian, destroyer of the nation, Darth Vader, elitist, cookie monster" and more, then and only then will some respectability return to the political discourse.
    Until then, stop whining, gop'ers. It's pathetic, that you can't even handle a 'comedian'... What would you do with Ahmadenajad or Satan, should they decide to attack you...? jk

    March 13, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  17. WDinDallas

    Enough with this comedian excuse!

    Doesn't matter, he calls women a c**nt. That is not funny! He also calls them wh***s and that is not funny. It is always directed conservative women. You cannot hide behind comedy, especially after a $1 million political donation.

    Bill Maher is the epitome of the funny guy in college that never got laid. Now he is misogynist that calls them c**nts, wh***s and other names. Others actually think its funny, and that is the real problem.

    March 13, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  18. hn1983

    Hey Santorum, Madrasa is Arabic for school

    March 13, 2012 01:31 pm at 1:31 pm |
  19. Taylor

    I dont belive he is teaching all of this in the home, i told believe that he's all holy and believe in the word. Because if he did he would be honest no matter what he and Unfit Mit are liars. DEVIL is a lie........... so get behind us........

    March 13, 2012 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. Richard Miller

    Sorry, but this time Bill is 100% correct. Just look at where this country is headed with the proliferation of home schooled children being turned out into a society where they have no social skills. Rickey baby's ideas are not true christian ideas but a perverted view in which he thinks we should all be just like him. I wonder if there was a priest in his past that was a little more friendly that old mom and pop thought.

    March 13, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  21. eric

    Maher is a spineless coward that regularly criticizes Christianity and other religions except for Islam. Why is that Billy Boy? It's because you are a little weasel. Go crawl back into your hole and never come out.

    March 13, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  22. Cynthia

    As a Catholic school teacher, Catholics discourage home schooling because it usually does not provide the proper atmosphere for learning and socialization. Catholic educators adhere to a strict curriculum approved by the Diocese that includes both lay classes and religious classes. I doubt if Mr. Santorum meets all those requirements.

    March 13, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  23. angel916

    I am glad people have put some thought into this. I agree with Mr Maher because that is what these types of christians believe in. It's not about the home schooling it's about teaching these kids that there way of thinking and life is better and more righteous than everyone else. They lack true knowledge and outside of the box thinking.

    March 13, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  24. Nick

    I've come to the conclusion that all the calls for civility that come from the left are simply posturing – there are dozens of examples of left-wing media commentators referring to conservatives as terrorists, mullahs, issuing fatwas, etc. I have never heard a conservative (absent the recent Limbaugh mistake) use such terms to describe liberals. as for Maher, he is disgusting and one of the worst offenders. Liberals better hope that conservatives don't stand up one day, say "enough", and respond in the manner of which they are being accused.

    March 13, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  25. bff

    Forcing faith on a child before they are old enough to make their own choices AND cloistering them from the outside world at the same time IS a form of child abuse.

    March 13, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
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