Emperor Has No Clothes Award

Roger, Pat & Melody Cleveland – 2003

The Freedom From Religion Foundation awarded Roger, Pat and Melody Cleveland its "Emperor Has No Clothes" Award on July 4, 2003, at the Lake Hypatia Independence Day celebration. It is hosted annually by the Alabama Freethought Association at the Clevelands' park grounds in rural Alabama. (Pat and Roger are married, and Melody is Roger's sister.)

The Alabama Freethought Association took the original successful lawsuit challenging Judge Roy Moore's courtroom Ten Commandments. The Association was joined by Gloria Hershiser, and the case was only thrown out by the state high court on a bizarre technicality.

Roger, Pat and Melody dreamed of a freethought "advance, not retreat," right in the buckle of the bible belt. They generously open their beautiful land and lake to hundreds of freethinkers from all over the country over the 4th of July weekend and for other special events.

They deeded land to the Freedom From Religion Foundation, which raised funds for the Lake Hypatia Freethought Hall. The second installment, the auditorium, was dedicated in 1999. The Clevelands also invited the national Foundation to place its Atheists in Foxholes monument at Lake Hypatia. The Clevelands, in publicly espousing this most significant cause of freethought and state/church separation, embody the small child in the fairy tale who says, "But the emperor has no clothes."

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