Tuesday's elections resulted in the re-election of President Obama, but also the enshrinement of "gay" marriage in three states and the defeat of a traditional-marriage amendment in a fourth.
Voters in Maryland, Maine and Washington gave thumbs up to legalizing same-sex marriage and the people of Minnesota rejected a proposed amendment to the state constitution that would have defined marriage in the Gopher State as the union of only one man and one woman. The results end a string of more than 30 states which approved traditional-marriage amendments or voted down efforts to legalize "gay" marriage.
Liberty Counsel Chairman Mathew Staver is one of the most prominent legal defenders of traditional marriage. He says the news from Tuesday is far more than a bad night for cultural conservatives.
"An amazing thing, a disturbing thing happened on Tuesday. This was not just an election. This could be the beginning of the death of America," Staver told WND. "God has called us to be faithful and we have to be faithful. Everything that America believes, all of our values will be challenged over the next four years. We can't allow the America that we've inherited to simply go up in flames."
Staver says he's fully aware that assessment may seem like an overreaction, but he insists the fears are well-founded.
"Now somebody says that's a pretty radical statement. It's absolutely true," he said. "I'm not an alarmist. I'm a very optimistic individual, but we've got our work cut out for us and we've got to make sure that we really pray, that we really act and that on our watch this America that we love, the shining city on a hill continues to be so after another four years."
Staver says the threats to this nation will come from countless directions.
"What will take place over the next few years will be significant threats to our biblical and moral values, particularly marriage, abortion (and) religious liberty, not to even mention the economy, our national security, the defense of Israel, the Middle East, the rise of radical Islam," said Staver. "We are going to be on a very bumpy roller coaster over the next four years. We have to just simply remain faithful. We've got a country to save."
As for where the marriage debate is headed, Staver says it is "significant" that traditional marriage forces came up short in all four states on Tuesday. He says the reason for that can be traced in part to the contest at the top of the ballot.
"Over the last four years, this president, Obama, has tried to undermine the marriage laws. And in doing so, he has energized the same-sex agenda," said Staver, referring to Obama's Justice Department refusing to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act and publicly stating his support for "gay" marriage.
The definition of marriage will soon be before the U.S. Supreme Court, and which way the current court might rule is anyone's guess. Staver says the legal precedent is on the side of traditional marriage since 41 states have statutes or amendments defining the institution.
"That says something about the culture and the public policy that the states have adopted," said Staver. "Plus we have the long history of tradition with regards to our constitutional jurisprudence that has never recognized same-sex marriage."
But he admits a strong legal case does not necessarily guarantee victory.
"On the other hand, you've got justices on the United States Supreme Court," he said. "We know irrespective of the law and the history, we got Roe v. Wade. They invented it out of thin cloth. And that's a problem."
Staver expects a decision by June of 2013 on the definition of marriage stemming from legal challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act.
There's another issue related to the court that could bring even more concern to cultural conservatives, and that's the composition of the court. Staver sees Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a likely retirement in the next four years but does not expect any of the five conservative or moderate justices to step down from the bench. If one of them does leave, Staver says the impact will be immense.
"If one of the other justices like Thomas or Scalia or Alito or Roberts or even Kennedy were to step down, then this president nominating a justice will literally change the direction of the court for the rest of our lifetime," said Staver. "So we've really got to pray for this Supreme Court. We have to be in serious prayer and repentance and be involved over the next four-plus years during this second term."
Staver is bracing for major cultural battles in other areas as well, including the abortion provisions inside the Obama health laws that take effect next year.
"In 2013, we will have a clash between religious freedom and this president's Obamacare policies," he said. "Will there be widespread disobedience by the Roman Catholic churches, by Protestant churches and by Protestant organizations and Christian businesses when they're forced to fund abortion? That's a line that many people just simply will not cross."
Staver's concerns don't end there. He says political correctness, specifically the homosexual agenda, is invading every part of our government and will only intensify over the next four years.
"At the EEOC (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), he has appointed Chai Feldblum, who is someone who says that if the so-called lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) agenda collides with religious liberty, guess which one wins?" asked Staver.
"The First Amendment free exercise of religion? No. The homosexual LGBT agenda. We're going to see those kind of things happen in the next four years."
Staver says this not only will happen, it's been happening for four years.
"We already know that he's hired, back in 2009, a czar essentially, to push the LGBT agenda in every one of the agencies," he said. "The FBI, the CIA, all the intelligence agencies ... is being infiltrated with that kind of immorality, and that's just going to continue to escalate over the next four years."