DiscoverIndoctriNationReligious Extremism in Schools w/Jonathon Sawyer
Religious Extremism in Schools w/Jonathon Sawyer

Religious Extremism in Schools w/Jonathon Sawyer

Update: 2024-06-19


Returning guest, Jonathon Sawyer is a Ph.D. candidate at the University of Colorado Boulder. Working with the National Education Policy Center, Jon researches public and private education. Through his in-progress dissertation, Jon explores pressing tensions between the right to religious freedom and the separation of church and state, focusing on taxpayer-supported religious schools.

Motivated by life-defining experiences in a school associated with the early years of the New Apostolic Reformation, Jon is particularly attentive to LGBTQ students who are subjected to religiously motivated discrimination. Through his work, Jon aims to educate his academic community and the public on the discrimination some LGBTQ youth may experience in taxpayer-supported religious schools. He also explores how religious extremism radicalizes youth against democracy. Jon has also presented research on civil rights, education policy, and religion at the annual conference of the American Educational Research Association.

Jonathan shares alarming details about how billions of taxpayer dollars are flowing into religious schools that may be radicalizing youth against democratic values. He discusses the rhetoric of demons and exorcism practices that are prevalent in some charismatic and Pentecostal Christian communities. These practices not only harm the psychological well-being of individuals but also pose a threat to the democratic fabric of our society.

Rachel and Jonathan explore the concept of "self-invisibility," a term Jonathan uses to describe individuals who, due to extreme religious indoctrination, become invisible to themselves. This phenomenon can lead to a perpetuation of discrimination and harm, as those who are indoctrinated may go on to discriminate against others.

The episode also touches on the broader societal implications of religious extremism. Jonathan warns against the language used by some political and religious leaders, which can often be dismissed as hyperbole but has real-world consequences. He emphasizes the need for both thoughtful liberals and conservatives to recognize and address these issues.

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Religious Extremism in Schools w/Jonathon Sawyer

Religious Extremism in Schools w/Jonathon Sawyer

Rachel Bernstein