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. Paul1st

    Is an educated loon morally superior to an intellectual llama?

    March 13, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  2. calusa

    Every time I hear the term "christian conservative" I laugh my head off. Christ was no conservative Mr Santorum...he got killed because he was the liberal movement of the day.....the christian conservative cult is something completely different!

    March 13, 2012 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  3. R-man

    How do the repubs do it? Just when the latest wacko goes down in flames, another takes his/her place. Santorum is scary-crazy.

    March 13, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  4. toxictown

    While it may have used loaded language, the "madrassa" comment is not far off. If the christian right could have their way and make it all legal (I don't know, maybe they are already doing this) they would have separate neiborhood living room schools of their own.

    March 13, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Cindy

    Maher is on HBO. If Santorum does not like him, he should not watch. Maher, a US citizen can donate to any candidate he wants. We know that Santorum is practicing female McCarthism, does he want to take away everyone's rights.

    March 13, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  6. Mike

    Rick Santorum should have just ignored Mahers comments, why give that idiot legitimacy.

    March 13, 2012 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  7. Jake

    I think Santorum is missing the point. We celebrate what anyone wants to do in their own home and how they want to raise their kids. we just don't want self-righteous people like Santorum in government positions telling everyone else what they should be doing in their own homes! (as he has made a political career out of)

    March 13, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  8. SLP

    @angel916,
    I am a christian parent. Would it surprise you to hear that I absolutely agree with you? I do. I do not want my children home schooled or in private christian school. As a believer, I don't feel that we should separate ourselves from other people or beliefs. First, it doesn't allow us to make an impact on our world, and second, I don't want my faith to be my children's faith. I want them to make up their own minds. They can't do that if they aren't exposed to other beliefs and points of view. It is also hard to defend your beliefs.

    March 13, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  9. Rudy Malvarez

    They should all move to Iran that way they can hide their wives and everyone can be a religious nut just like they are. They can then have Church and State as one. Like Bill Maher says if you are stupid is because you choose to be stupid because you can Google yourself to knowledge. This is the 21st century, Sanitorium

    March 13, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  10. Truth and Nothing But the Truth

    The power of the purse should be brought to bear on this hate monger. No conservative or religious person should subscribe to HBO as long as he is on the there. No reason he should be getting rich off of his hate filled speech.

    March 13, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  11. IndependentMom

    Is it me or are the Conservatives using the word "MYSOGYNIST" ALL THE TIME in reference to Bill Maher.

    Maher was WRONG to call Palin the "c" word. I for one, condemned that. But Limbaugh is just plain ....evil.

    "El Santo" will win in the South. Southern Baptists do not like the LDS.

    March 13, 2012 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  12. Silly Baggers!

    As a Catholic Santorum embarrases me.

    March 13, 2012 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  13. Malory Archer

    SLP, if you don't wish to use birth control that's your choice. However, you have no right to make that choice for my daughters & nieces.

    March 13, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  14. sene

    I personally don't see anything wrong with what Maher said.. that's an Atheist stating his beliefs. and guess what He's on HBO .. you don't have to subscribe if you don't want to... unlike Limbaugh where we are forces "to pass" over his garbage on the radio.

    March 13, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  15. Riotous

    Lessee, Little Ricky home indoctrinates his kids. Little Mittens kids wear "magic underwear".

    Where do these loons come from and why is anyone paying any attention to them?

    March 13, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  16. Dave, Central Illinois

    Liberal = hypocrit

    What a suprise that the peebrained Libs would defend a jerk like Mahr. Libs logic = whatever feels good to me is best.

    March 13, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  17. bfpierce

    Not really any of Maher's (or the lefts) business really how Santorum chooses to education his children. That should be a decision up to the family not the government.

    March 13, 2012 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  18. Hank

    Re: “Snobs” comment – Here are some facts: 1) Not all jobs require a college education. 2) Many (most?) college degree programs do not prepare a student to work in the real world. 3) Most students who go to college end up heavily in debt. And who’s the creditor? You guessed it – the federal government. 4) A college degree does not improve one’s job prospects if everyone one else has one too. So, many students end up pursuing advanced degrees and going further into debt just to improve their resumes. But then what happens when everyone else has the advanced degree too? Think about it for a second.

    Or, better yet, keep focusing on Santorum’s unfortunate decision to use the word “snobs” and pretend like that gives you an excuse not to think about the issue any further.

    March 13, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. eric

    The main purpose of homeschooling is to protect your children against the unchained animals that our current society creates. Many parents are not very good at their job so they send their offspring to public school to mingle with the few that are actually civilized. The civilized few become victims of this intermingling and do not get a fair shake at the already sub-par education process. Meanwhile the uneducated parents of the animals sit home and play xbox on our dime.

    March 13, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  20. Dr. Loomis

    I'd love to see Santorum on Maher's show, I don't think he could hold his own in a debate with Bill Maher.

    March 13, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  21. TR Phoenix

    I think Maher is simply bringing out the fact to Rick that the separation of Religion and State is what this country was founded on.. I am a Catholic also but if I were running for a public office I would not keep pushing my religion on everyone. Rick Santorum is wrong in his approach to the voters.. That is why he he will not win the nomination!
    Being Conservative is one thing but don't push the religious thing.. It is getting sickening Rick.. Give us all a break..
    TR Phoenix Independent Voter

    March 13, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  22. edge

    "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."

    Conservative thinks liberal should return campaign money. [*Palin voice*] Waell, gee, du ya think?

    Of course Santorum doesn't want his kids exposed to reason. He touts statistics about how college wrecks faith. This is a GOOD thing. Your faith should be tested, and if it was meant to be, it will regrow stronger. Otherwise, you're a willfully ignorant person, but you're filled with faith. We have far to many of those people as it is.

    March 13, 2012 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  23. Loathstheright

    Talibangelical Rick is a very sick and twisted person, glad their are very littlte like him here in Seattle.

    March 13, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  24. Foreverwar

    I wonder if he made sure to teach his children that the Earth is six thousand years old....and flat.

    March 13, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  25. BC

    Anybody I have personally known that was home-schooled was strange and had poor social skills. They seem immature for their age and are incredibly naive and gullible. Are all home-schooled kids like that – probably not. But in my own experience they tend to be that way. And the majority of home-schoolers are in conservative Christian homes who are afraid of what the schools are teaching kids in terms of morality issues.

    March 13, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
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