Founder of Military Religious Freedom FoundationA former Air Force officer and White House lawyer during the Reagan administration, Weinstein is today a one-issue whistle-blower who has driven real change in religious policy throughout the military. Advocating for secularism in the military through the Military Religious Freedom Foundation he founded in 2005, Weinstein has fought a campaign against public prayer and proselytizing by Air Force officers, particularly at the Air Force Academy, his alma mater, where he says he and his sons experienced religious discrimination. Weinstein has been accused of tilting at windmills in his struggles, but he scored a major victory in 2011, when the Air Force suspended a training course for nuclear missile launch officers that used Bible passages and religious imagery in a PowerPoint presentation about the ethics of war. Weinstein’s public persistence continues to influence Pentagon religious policies, including new rules released in 2012 restricting the sale of Bibles adorned with military insignia.
In the course of a few November days, three people plummeted from the top ranks of the powerful, falling down, and in one case off, the list.
Top editors had just finalized the top 10 for this project when retired Army Gen. David Petraeus abruptly resigned from his job as director of the CIA after admitting to an extramarital affair. The esteemed Petraeus, seen by many as destined for higher office and perhaps even the presidency, had been a fixture in the top 10 from the start.