A cross stands against the sky. (Photo credit: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

A cross stands against the sky. (Photo credit: CHRISTOF STACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

I clearly remember the start of my college search in high school. It felt overwhelming, with so many colleges and universities to choose from.

Thankfully, there were plenty of ways to narrow it down. Did they have the programs I was interested in studying? Did they have the athletics in which I wanted to participate? Were they located in a part of the country where I was interested in living? And most importantly: Did they share my values and beliefs?

But if a radical interest group gets its way, students will have their choices of colleges and universities forcibly narrowed. In fact, hundreds of colleges and universities would no longer be an option. And many students wouldn’t even have the opportunity to ask my most important question.

Earlier in 2021, the so-called “Religious Exemption Accountability Project” (known as REAP) filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Education. This activist group is demanding that the government block students from using their federal funds (including scholarships and grants) toward religious schools that believe marriage is the union between one man and one woman, that sex is reserved for that union, and that there are meaningful and enduring differences between the sexes.

And if REAP gets its way, its crusade won’t stop at religious colleges and universities.

As the video explains, REAP’s lawsuit goes much further than simply preventing students from using their financial aid to attend a religious school. Ultimately, REAP is claiming that legal protections for religion are unconstitutional in general.

This is false, of course. Our nation was founded as a refuge for those seeking to practice their faith freely. And the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution explicitly protects religion.

That’s why Alliance Defending Freedom is representing three Christian schools — Corban University, William Jessup University, and Phoenix Seminary — as they stand up for their own constitutional rights, as well as those of their students.

There’s a lot at stake here.

Anti-religious activists, like REAP and others, are seeking to erase religion’s influence from American society. The goal? To rebuild a nation that not only refuses to protect religious freedom but also harbors open hostility toward religion.

This lawsuit is just one avenue through which activists are attempting to do so.

For instance, the so-called Equality Act — which passed the House of Representatives — carries similar threats, and much more. This sweeping legislation would harm religious institutions as well as women and girls in athletics, dorms, and private changing areas.

This should concern all of us, regardless of your beliefs.

America is big and diverse, with more than enough room for the religious and non-religious alike to coexist while acting consistently with their beliefs.

Our Constitution demands it. Our freedoms depend on it.

Sarah Kramer worked as an investigative reporter before joining the Alliance Defending Freedom team.

Editor’s Note: This piece originally appeared on the Alliance Defending Freedom.