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PRESS RELEASE

Friday, June 10, 2016

Contact Bekki Miller | (337) 356-8696 [email protected]


2016 Thomas Jefferson Awards for the Preservation of Religious Freedom

MRFF Founder and President,
Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein, Proudly Honors our
2016 Thomas Jefferson Award Winners

The Military Religious Freedom Foundation's (MRFF) civil rights battle is all too often painfully lonely, dangerous and expensive. Few have the temerity, courage and steadfastness to stand in the breach with MRFF and help us wage war against those who would have our American armed forces transformed into a fundamentalist Christian military strike force.

The highest and most meaningful award which MRFF can bestow upon another human being is our Thomas Jefferson Award. MRFF has not announced any recent winners to this award for over half a decade but I am absolutely delighted to announce that this drought is over. The winners for 2016 are proudly revealed below.

Each of them has, in a myriad of critically important ways far too numerous to list, sacrificed mightily and given freely of themselves to buttress and support the United States Constitution and, thus, the bedrock mission of MRFF to fortify the wall separating church and state in the United States military. Every single one of them are unpaid volunteers.

Below I list only a few of the highlights of the sea of contributions they each provide to preserve and protect cherished  religious freedom in America today. Listing all of their contributions would take a book.

Michael L. "Mikey" Weinstein
Founder and President
Military Religious Freedom Foundation

(Presented in Alphabetical Order)

Major William E. Barker, USMC (Ret.)

Major William E. Barker, USMC (Ret.)Statement from Mikey Weinstein - MRFF Board Member Bill Barker has boldly served at the highest levels of MRFF's organizational structure, never failing to provide a universal spectrum of support to the MRFF cause. Bill is a retired USMC Major and very senior High School Jr. ROTC administrator and educator who has positively influenced generations of American youth.

Statement from Major William E. Barker, USMC (Ret.) - Having been in philosophical lockstep since before its inception, it is a privilege to work with MRFF as a board member.  Additionally, please know that Thomas Jefferson has been a personal hero for decades and I am thrilled to be recognized by MRFF as a recipient of the Thomas Jefferson Award... [read more]

 

Michael Challman

Michael ChallmanStatement from Mikey Weinstein - MRFF Volunteer and U.S. Air Force Academy graduate Mike Challman (a devout Christian) works around-the-clock to cogently and courageously respond at all hours of the day and night via e-mail to the legions of those who question, attack and/or challenge the MRFF mission and achievements. Many of these detractors utilize only the most vile, threatening and vicious language in doing so.

Statement from Mike Challman - Being recognized by the MRFF with the Thomas Jefferson Award is both a tremendous honor and a terrific surprise, one for which I feel wholly undeserving but immensely grateful. I am awed by the quality of character exhibited by MRFF supporters and clients. The MRFF performs a critical mission that often goes unappreciated, and even more often is met with incredible opposition and vitriol... [read more]

 

Vincent and Cynthia Lindenmeyer

Vincent and Cynthia LindenmeyerStatement from Mikey Weinstein - Vince and Cynthia Lindenmeyer, both West Point graduates as well as being married to each other, have provided MRFF with irreplaceable and essential support behind the scenes for many years. Cynthia is an ordained Protestant member of the clergy and Vince only recently retired from the U.S. Army as full Colonel.

Statement from the Lindenmeyer's - The MRFF voices the needed words of those whose voices have been silenced.  Without the tireless efforts of the entire MRFF team, religious liberty in our nation would be significantly undermined.  Abuse of one's faith beliefs is very personal and hurtful, and those who have experienced hatred and judgment need the hope and support that the MRFF provides. [read more]

 

Randal G. Mathis

Randal G. MathisStatement from Mikey Weinstein - Attorney Randy Mathis, already a winner of MRFF’s John Adams Award in 2011 for selfless pro bono legal services, delivers stellar quality legal counseling support to MRFF on a daily basis accumulating hours of legal service support far too numerous to accurately total and continues to do so without charge. Randy becomes the first MRFF winner of both the Thomas Jefferson and John Adams awards ever.

Statement from Randal G. Mathis - It is an honor and privilege to be recognized as part of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation's Thomas Jefferson Awards this year.
 
The Foundation, and its Founder and President, Mikey Weinstein, stand out as unique in their consistently effective efforts to safeguard the Civil Rights and Freedoms of all those serving in the U.S. Armed Forces... [read more]

 

Joan Slish

Joan SlishStatement from Mikey Weinstein - MRFF Advisory Board Member Joan Slish (a devout Christian), having spent 32 years in the evangelical movement, eventually became an ordained Assistant Minister. Joan came to realize that the movement's teachings were antithetical to the New Testament. As a result, she resigned and departed from her position as an ordained minister from her church. Using the knowledge from her theological background, Joan spends endless hours expertly debunking the volumes of detractor's emails that spew scripture to malign MRFF and myself.

Statement from Joan Slish - To be selected out of the hundreds of volunteers and supporters of the MRFF for the Thomas Jefferson Award is humbling. We come from all faiths or no faith and different backgrounds to work together harmoniously in defending the Establishment Clause of the Constitution and Civil Rights laws... [read more]

 

Lawrence B. Wilkerson

Lawrence B. WilkersonStatement from Mikey Weinstein - MRFF Advisory Board member Larry Wilkerson lends to MRFF the gravitas of his immensely respected name and awesome professional accomplishments as, among many other supportive tasks for MRFF, he opines in opinion editorials on the matters which relate to the MRFF civil rights struggle.

Statement from Lawrence B. Wilkerson - I was somewhat skeptical about the mission of Mikey Weinstein and the MRFF when I was asked to replace Glen Doherty, a former Navy SEAL who was killed in Benghazi, on the organization's advisory board. After all, I thought at the time, religion is an important part of many people's lives. Since that time however, I have learned again and again that the MRFF mission is not only important, it is critically so. All one needs as evidence is the continuously unfolding tragedy of Shia/Sunni sectarian violence in the Middle East to see how utterly dangerous religious intolerance can be...[read more]

 

Senior Active Duty Officer X

Senior Active Duty Officer XStatement from Mikey Weinstein - "Senior Active Duty Officer X" has selflessly labored to assist the MRFF efforts, both in his/her own command as well as literally around-the-globe and domestically, for years, under the radar. Many a MRFF success story has been authored by his/her "invisible" efforts to sagaciously advise and counsel senior military leadership.

Statement from Senior Active Duty Officer X - I am honored and humbled to be recognized by MRFF for this award.  In order to avoid any controversy within my subordinate leaders, my own faith-group colleagues, or to avoid the appearance of officially supporting a Non Federal Entity as a public senior leader, it would be best to not include my name, rank or position at this point... [read more]

 

Senior Active Duty Officer Y

Senior Active Duty Officer YStatement from Mikey Weinstein - "Senior Active Duty Officer Y" has provided universal support to MRFF in a similar manner as "Senior Active Duty Officer X", additionally ghost-writing disseminated MRFF communications to both MRFF detractors, the public at large and even the United States Congress.

Statement from Senior Active Duty Officer Y -Senior Active Duty Officer Y has been a supporter of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation from its earliest days, motivated in large part by discrimination experienced by him/her and others in his/her family that have served in the military.  The ghost author and co-author of many MRFF editorials, hate mail responses, and congressional testimony, Senior Active Duty Officer Y brings more than 30 years of professional military experience to the MRFF—you've all read his/her work unknowingly for over a decade... [read more]

 

Previous Thomas Jefferson Award Winners

James E. Parco, Ph.D. | Journalist/Activist Chris Hedges |
US Congressman Steve Israel | Investigative Journalist Pam Zubeck | Philanthropist Larry Buck | Renowned Educator Gene Nichol |
Investigative Journalist Jason Leopold | Dr. Barry Fagin |
Ambassador (Ret.) Joseph C. Wilson IV | Industrialist Sam Fairchild | Philanthropist William B. Wiener, Jr. | Activist/Actor Edward Asner | Author/Journalist Jeff Sharlet | Activist/Actor Mike Farrell |
Activist/Philanthropist John Whiteside | Elizabeth Sholes |

Senior Active Duty Officer Z


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