Christian Israel Advocate Uses ‘Docutainment’ to Convey Pro-Jewish State Message to Millennials (INTERVIEW)
“We are seeing a disturbing trend among those who adhere to replacement theology and supersessionism,” said Laurie Cardoza-Moore, businesswoman, theologian, lobbyist and filmmaker from Nashville, Tennessee, whose self-described mission in life is to “educate Christians about their biblical responsibility to stand with their Jewish brethren and the state of Israel.”
This she has done through combining her media expertise with political advocacy, based on a Judeo-Christian outlook – something that has led to the passage of anti-Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) legislation in four US states so far, with at least 40 additional bills to be presented in January.
In Israel to further her anti-BDS campaign and tape interviews for her latest documentary, Cardoza-Moore — founder and president of Proclaiming Justice to the Nations, an organization she established in 2005 – talked to The Algemeiner about what she hopes to accomplish through the film she and her two-time Emmy Award-winning husband, Stan Moore, are currently working on.
“Though Evangelical Christians have always been primarily pro-Israel, a growing number of both Protestant and Catholic Churches are adhering to the theology that God is basically done with the Jewish people,” she said. “And now the younger generation is being targeted for indoctrination with a false narrative that has dangerous religious and political implications.”
Her latest film – written and directed by her husband — aims “to enlighten millennials,” she said, explaining the reason for the docutainment genre she is employing, and the fact that the star of the movie is American-Christian comedian Brad Stine.
“We’ve got to present the facts about biblical and modern-day Israel in a way that is simultaneously compelling and user-friendly,” said Cardoza-Moore, whose film will air on at least a dozen Christian TV channels, reaching a global audience of approximately 900 million people. “We are using satire, for example, to convey a message that disarms young viewers, and gets them to rethink the positions that have been drummed into them throughout their lives – and now on college campuses — with no counter-arguments.”
Cardoza-Moore said that professors have a profound impact on students, “But one thing that young people can’t stand is feeling like fools. And because they are not taught to think critically about issues, all you have to do is plant one seed of doubt in their narrative and that’s going to cause the individual watching to think, ‘If that doesn’t make sense, is the rest of what I believe accurate?'”
Where views on the Arab-Palestinian conflict are concerned, Cardoza-Moore said that “theology and politics are not separate. On the political side, our kids are taught the lie that the Palestinians are being persecuted by Israel, where there is apartheid; and that Jesus was a Palestinian. This is not true, and needs to be exposed as such. But also, the Bible shows it is false. So we need to tackle this from both directions.”
One illustration she said she likes to use to hit home this point when giving lectures is “the story of two Christian cities – Bethlehem, where Jesus was born, and Nazareth, where he grew up. The latter is in Israel and has a large, flourishing Christian population. The former is now under the control of the Palestinian Authority and suffers from a mass Christian exodus out of there.
“Why – I ask the audience – do they think that more than 80% of the Christians who used to live in Bethlehem have fled, while those in Nazareth prosper? It is because – I explain – that the only place Middle East Christians can prosper is in Israel. I also describe to them how Palestinian children are raised with a hate-filled ideology, which brainwashes them about and encourages them to kill Jews.”
All that the American Christian youth raised on replacement theology are hearing these days is the opposite, she said. “The point is that the Jewish people are peaceful. They do so much good for the world, with technological advancement and scientific inventions, etc. They help better humanity, which, after all, is the calling of the Jewish people – Tikkun Olam,” she said. “And that is why knowing the Hebrew scripture is so critical.”
Something else that Cardoza-Moore considers crucial to Christian understanding is the Nostra Aetate, the “Declaration on the Relation of the Church with Non-Christian Religions,” promoted by Pope Paul VI and passed by the Second Vatican Council in 1965.
“It was important,” she said, “because it said that you can’t be a good Christian and an antisemite – and that God’s covenant with Abraham stands. God gave ‘all the land you see’ to Abraham. That’s the land, or a sliver of it, at any rate, that Israelis are living in today. So, you have to get Christians back to the foundations of the Bible. And one thing Christians don’t want is to be on the wrong side of scripture and God.”
Cardoza-Moore said she even uses this kind of religious argument when lobbying legislators, the majority of whom, she pointed out, are Christians. “In spite of what President Obama says, the US is a Judeo-Christian society; 80% of Americans are Christians; 70% are pro-Israel.”
Indeed, she said, she always remembers — whether in a state legislature or the UN — “most of the people in my audiences are Christians.”
“Don’t forget,” she concluded, “that political winds change, but people of faith are going to be committed for life.”