EXCLUSIVE: Leader of Evangelical Group that Supports Israel Reacts to ‘Hate Group’ Designation by the Southern Poverty Law Center

 

It was recently revealed that Proclaiming Justice to The Nations (PJTN) had been designated a “hate group” by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). The SPLC, originally a legal group created to provide representation to African Americans following the civil rights movement, has expanded into an organization that identifies hate groups including anti-LGBT, holocaust deniers, male supremacists and anti-Muslim associations.

PJTN is labeled “anti-Muslim.” No explanation is provided on the SPLC website for the designation.

Other organizations that are on the anti-Muslim hate list include the North Carolina Pastors’ Network, ACT for America and Truth in Textbooks, to name a few. Many Christian organizations are also labeled as hate groups by SPLC, including Mission America and Faith2Action in Ohio, and the American College of Pediatricians and Family Research Council because of their biblical positions on marriage and family.

The Ohio Star spoke with PJTN Founder Laurie Cardoza-Moore who expressed her shock and frustration. “We established this organization to fight hate, specifically anti-Semitism.”

The group took to twitter last week to stand their ground for Israel and lash out at SPLC. “Nothing will stop us from standing up for Israel. Become a PJTN Watchman today…” they tweeted. Connected to the tweet is the article “SPLC labels pro-Israel Evangelical organization a ‘hate group’,” by Arutz Sheva.

Cardoza-Moore first became aware of the hate label in the spring of 2018, when the Jewish Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Nashville hosted one of the SPLC founders, Joseph Levin.

“The Jewish Federation had a meeting and that’s when I confronted the Southern Poverty Law Center…I found out because somebody…emailed me, one of our, what we call PJTN Watchmen, and said, ‘Did you know you’re on Southern Poverty Law Center’s hit list?’ And I said, ‘No’.” Upon checking, Cardoza-Moore found the Watchman was correct.

“I asked the Executive Director of the Federation why he [Levin] was being invited, that he had us targeted on their list as a hate organization. I was encouraged to come the event, which I did.”

“During his [Levin’s] presentation he talked about Proclaiming Justice to the Nations. He picked up a paper off the table and said, ‘I have a list of things that she’s done’ or ‘she’s said.’ He never said what those things were,” Cardoza-Moore explained.

Audience members asked if he would debate Cardoza-Moore and told Levin that she was there. Levin told them no, they would have to have another event.

“I went up to him afterwards and I said to him, ‘What was it that I said that you consider hate, to call me a hate organization’?” Levin refused to respond to her questions or to let her see the papers that allegedly contained information about PJTN’s hateful rhetoric or actions.

“We have built our reputation, we established this organization to fight hate, specifically anti-Semitism. I serve as a special envoy at the United Nations for the World Council of Independent Christian Churches [WCICC]. I represent the human rights issue at the United Nations, specifically the abuses of anti-Semitism,” she stated.

Cardoza-Moore explained how two different Muslim women’s groups, knowing she was a Christian, had invited her to speak at their conferences about helping Muslim women achieve freedom in their own countries. “If I was a hate group, I would never have been extended the invitation,” she declared.

SPLC-designated hate groups are negatively affected beyond reputation; they can be demonetized. PJTN was part of Amazon’s charitable giving initiative Amazon Smile, until they were assigned “hate group” status. A search proved Cardoza-Moore’s assertion correct, and her staff confirmed the reason was because of SPLC’s designation.

Just as Joseph Levin had refused to provide Cardoza-Moore with evidence of her alleged hate, SPLC also refused to respond to emails and phone calls from The Ohio Star. On the Hate Map, the only information listed is PJTN’s name, general location in Tennessee and the “anti-Muslim” label.

PJTN’s Ohio Director and General Counsel, Michael Goldstein, told The Ohio Star,

By designating Proclaiming Justice to the Nations (PJTN) as a ‘hate group,’ the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) has demonstrated that it has gone completely off the rails. PJTN is, as anyone can see by reading our mission statement, the very antithesis of a group which hates anyone. The only ‘poverty’ in the SPLC is its own poverty of concepts, language, common sense, ideology, recognition of facts, and logic.”

Their mission statement is, “PJTN educates, advocates, and moves to activate Christians, Jews and all people of conscience in building a global community of action and prayer in support of Jews and Israel. We are engaged in winning the ideological, social, moral and spiritual battle for the mind of this generation.”

Goldstein added, “It is past time for all Americans and all American institutions to set SPLC and its hate designations aside. It has demonstrated that it lacks all credibility, and the only hate group over which it can legitimately exercise its evil jurisdiction, is itself.”

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Beth Lear is a reporter at The Ohio Star.  Follow Beth on Twitter.  Email tips to bethlearreports@gmail.com.
Photo “PJTN” by PJTN

 

 

 

 

 

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