(PJTN) is a deranged fundamentalist group founded by Laurie Cardoza-Moore, a religious-right activist and conspiracy theorist. As for their particular flavor of fundamentalism, it can be well summed up by Cardoza-Moore’s praise for Donald Trump for being “willing to live his faith unlike any other leader I have ever seen in history” and for running his administration in accordance with the Bible. Yeah, that kind of fundie.
President Biden, on the other hand, must be voted out of office because he “does not represent [our] Judeo-Christian values”, and Cardoza-Moore has repeatedly demanded the “immediate resignations of Congresswomen Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” because disagreeing with Cardoza-Moore on politics is unconstitutional (Omar, in particular, is a traitor because she is a Muslim “a threat to our national security. She is a threat to our allies and their national security. She’s a threat to our Christian and Jewish communities.”) Trump, meanwhile, is, like Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, attacked by the left “to bring them down because they are men of integrity and they are men of faith” – ‘integrity’, of course, means sharing political preferences with Cardoza-Moore. Fortunately, Trump can’t be harmed, because he is protected by God: “God is not going to allow this man to be attacked”. And that confers duties upon us: “We as a Judeo-Christian nation have a responsibility to uphold the word of God”, said Cardoza-Moore, and offered, since why not, her insights about the United States’ role in the End Times (something people apparently often ask her about): “Look at the English spelling of the word Jerusalem. What are the three letters in the center of that word? U.S.A. … That is our prophetic place to be.” In fairness, we suppose that if you genuinely wondered about the role of the US in the End Times, that’s as good an answer as any.
Cardoza-Moore and her organization probably first rose to public attention through their participation in a garbled, conspiracy-riddled wingnut effort to stop the construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro, Tennessee. The PJTN spearheaded a litigation to to block the mosque’s construction (Kevin Fisher was one of the plaintiffs; the others were Lisa Moore, who claimed to be harmed by the center because she would be targeted for death under Sharia law because she’s a Jewish female, and Henry Golzynski, who claimed to be harmed by the construction of the center because he lost a son fighting in Fallujah by insurgents pursuing jihad as dictated by Sharia law), and demanded that the Rutherford County sheriff investigate a supposed conspiracy linking the mosque with Islamic militants in Somalia and Gaza that they imagined to be there. Cardoza-Moore herself stated that the mosque was part of a plot to take over Middle Tennessee, which is surely a strategically crucial step in their attempt to achieve world domination. As part of their (counter-)efforts, the PJTN would pay various witnesses thousands of dollars to read extracts from anti-Muslim Internet websites to the court. The case was primarily based on the claim that the building of the center put local residents at risk because “there was considerable evidence of elevated risks to the public safety of citizens of Rutherford County from the proposed ICM compound”, and they claimed to “have been and will be irreparably harmed by the risk of terrorism generated by proselytising for Islam and inciting the practices of sharia law.” Ultimately, the argument boiled down to the plaintiff’s lawyer, Joe Brandon jr. spending a week trying to convince the court that Islam should not be considered a religion and that the mosque was not entitled to religious land use zoning regulations “because these are the same people who flew jets into the World Trade Center on 9/11.” The court was not impressed with the clown show.
Cardoza-Moore’s more recent efforts have been aimed at ensuring that public school textbooks eliminate what she claims is “anti-Semitic, anti-Judeo/Christian, Anti-American, pro-Islamic indoctrination of students.” In 2021, she was appointed to a seat on Tennessee’s State Textbook and Instructional Materials Quality Commission, which is insane enough, but according to herself, her efforts are bearing fruits also beyond Tennessee – she has for instance bragged about her ties to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and claimed that her efforts have ensured that Florida public school students are now being taught that this nation “was founded on the Torah.” Yeah, the claim might be surprising to some (in a number of ways), but to support the claim that the US was, in fact, founded on the Torah (it wasn’t), Cardoza-Moore repurposed a number of falsehoods and misleading claims made by pseudohistorian David Barton. In any case, Florida is currently “the only state in the nation now that is teaching what God commands us to teach our children”, says Cardoza-Moore, and yes: the goal is of course to undermine the separation of church and state.
Diagnosis: Given our unfailing optimism, we repeatedly end up entertaining the hope that some of thiesefigures will eventually listen to reason. But looking at what passes for thinking in the mind of people like Laurie Cardoza-Moore will starkly remind us that it’s probably futile. And Cardoza-Moore seems to have some clout in the circles she’s frequenting. It’s downright embarrassing.