Michael L. “Mikey” Weinstein, Esq. – Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF) Founder & President
Mikey Weinstein is the undisputed leader of the national movement to restore the obliterated wall separating church and state in the most technologically lethal organization ever created by humankind: the United States armed forces. Described by Harper’s magazine as “the constitutional conscience of the U.S. military, a man determined to force accountability”, Mikey’s family has a long and distinguished U.S. military history spanning three consecutive generations of military academy graduates and over 130 years of combined active duty military service in every major combat engagement our country has been in from World War I to the current Global War on Terror.
Mikey is a 1977 Honor Graduate of the United States Air Force Academy. Mikey has been married for 45 years to his wife, Bonnie. He is the proud parent of two sons, one daughter, two granddaughters, and one grandson. His oldest son and daughter-in-law are 2004 United States Air Force Academy Graduates, and his youngest son graduated from the Air Force Academy in the Class of 2007. Six total members of Mikey’s family have attended the Academy. His father was a distinguished graduate of the United States Naval Academy. Mikey served for more than 10 years with the Judge Advocate General (“JAG”) Corps.
A registered Republican, he also spent over three years working in, and for, the West Wing of the Reagan Administration as legal counsel in the White House. In his final position there, Mikey was named the Committee Management Officer of the much-publicized Iran-Contra Investigation in his capacity as Assistant General Counsel of The White House Office of Administration, Executive Office of the President of the United States. Mikey has held numerous positions in corporate America as a senior executive businessman and attorney.
After stints at prominent law firms in both New York City and Washington D.C., Mikey served as the first General Counsel to Texas billionaire and two-time Presidential candidate H. Ross Perot and Perot Systems Corporation. He left Mr. Perot’s employ in 2006 to focus his fulltime attention on the nonprofit charitable foundation he founded to directly battle the far-right militant radical evangelical religious fundamentalists: the Military Religious Freedom Foundation. (https://www.militaryreligiousfreedom.org)
Mikey has appeared innumerable times on all of the major cable and terrestrial TV news networks and is a frequent guest on national radio networks as well. His constitutional activism has been covered and profiled extensively in the print media including the Associated Press, The New York Times, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, the Denver Post, The Guardian, and many other national and international newspapers and periodicals including Time magazine.
St. Martins Press in New York released Mikey’s book, “With God On Our Side: One Man’s War Against an Evangelical Coup in America’s Military” in October 2006. The paperback version was released in February 2008 with the Foreword being written by Ambassador Joseph Wilson IV. The book is an expose on the systemic problem of religious intolerance throughout the United States armed forces. At this time, Mikey also made his international film debut in the Hollywood adaptation of James Carroll’s New York Times best selling book detailing the 2,000 year bloody history between the Church and the Jews, entitled “Constantine’s Sword”, and directed by Oscar nominee Oren Jacoby.
In January, 2012, Mikey’s latest book “No Snowflake in an Avalanche: The Military Religious Freedom Foundation, its Battle to Defend the Constitution, and One Family’s Courageous War Against Religious Extremism in High Places” was released. It details MRFF’s prominent case studies, struggles, and the violent reactions to MRFF advocacy.
Mikey was named one of the 50 most influential Jews in America by the Forward, one of the nation’s preeminent Jewish publications. He also has received a nomination for the JFK’s Profile in Courage Award and received the Buzzflash Wings of Justice Award. In addition Mikey was honored by a distinguished civil rights organization, Jews for Racial and Economic Justice, with the Rabbi Marshall T. Meyer Risk-Taker Award for those who have taken risks in the pursuit of justice.
In December 2012, Defense News named Mikey one of the 100 Most Influential People in U.S. Defense. As a distinguished “Opinion shaper” exercising a hard-fought influence over the U.S. Armed Forces, Mikey’s influence has been recognized as exceeding that of former General David Petraeus himself by a publication that represents “the world’s biggest military newsroom.” Defense News is a Gannett publication – as are USA Today, The Arizona Republic, Detroit Free Press, The Indianapolis Star, The Cincinnati Enquirer, and many other prominent newspapers across the nation. Gannett Government Media consists of Defense News, Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times, Marine Corps Times, Armed Forces Journal and Federal Times.
Reviled by the radical fundamentalist Christian far-right, Mikey has been given many names by his enemies including “Satan”, “Satan’s lawyer”, “the Antichrist”, “That Godless, Secular Leftist”, “Antagonizer of All Christians”, “Most Dangerous Man in America” and “Field General of the Godless Armies of Satan”.
On November 7, 2011, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State presented Mikey Weinstein with AU’s first ever Person of the Year Award. In their press release, AU describes MRFF as “the leading voice protecting church-state separation in the military.”
On November 13, 2014, for the sixth consecutive year, the Military Religious Freedom Foundation was officially nominated again for the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize (its seventh total nomination).
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