There is a gathering storm intensifying over America. It is in the form of a radical, sexual stratagem, which is victoriously marching on religion’s defense of moral standards. Now it is marshaling forces against rights of religion and religious conscience across the nation. The question is, can it be stopped or will religion lose its God-given, sacred rights memorialized in the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution.

Sixty-years ago, the sexual stratagem commenced a conflict with religion to redefine what was once known to be moral, making it irrelevant, and what was known to be immoral, making it acceptable. It has repeatedly triumphed over religion in battles defining morality in America. Religion’s losses have meant that which was once unacceptable, sexual behavior has become the “new normal.” Now, when religion expresses opposition to the new normal, it is attacked until it retreats from the public square, and sorrowfully much of religion is readily retreating.

The sexual stratagem split faith groups from within and pitted faith traditions against each other through battles over sexual norms. These intra and inter religious battles weakened many religions, resulting in their eventual capitulation. In the aftermath, many of the so-called mainline religions have been relegated to the sideline, left saluting the sexual stratagem. They have adopted its propaganda as their new doctrine, causing the desertion of many of their members who refuse to be collaborators against their traditional faith and moral standards.

Just as cunningly, the sexual stratagem captured one of the two major political parties, compelling it to battle against the other, while simultaneously infiltrating and subverting the remaining major political party. The sabotage of the political parties forced the realignment of those religions left defending traditional morality, reducing their political alliances with only the most morally vigilant.

With victory over morality at hand, the sexual stratagem is now conspiring to supplant the “First Rights,” secured by the Founding Fathers to protect religion, with new, so-called “sexual civil rights.” Proscriptive propaganda is being disseminated to persuade the public that religious rights exercised outside of faith sanctuaries should be neutralized and when confronted by the new sexual civil rights, religious rights should be subordinated in American society.

To reinforce its attacks on religious liberties, the sexual stratagem is recruiting and conscripting officials at every level of government, political parties, business, media and religion. Assembled together with reshaped recruits and compelled conscripts, the sexual stratagem is now arrayed to assault the founding freedoms of religion and religious conscience.

Because the sexual stratagem earlier incapacitated much of religion and its political alliances, and now is reinforced with new recruits, religion is vulnerable to attacks upon its most critical, survival interest — religious liberty. Standing alone, religion will likely lose its battle for liberty. Its only hope is for those of faith, family and freedom to become allies in sacrifice for the freedom of religion and religious conscience. Religious freedom has never been free. It always has and always will require a united sacrifice.

The Founding Fathers called Americans together in sacrifice to forge a nation with the faith and freedom necessary to inaugurate the greatest republic ever. Patriots rallied around the revolutionary principle that a republic cannot endure unless it is built upon the foundation of a virtuous society, which cannot exist without the faith of a religiously free people. Today, people of faith, family and freedom are needed again to protect those religious liberties for which much blood has been spilt, or they will be lost. And, as John Adams warned: “Liberty, once lost, is lost forever.”

Stuart Reid is a Utah state senator representing District 18.