It's not just about four or eight years in office, but the next president will play a key role in the appointment of a number of Supreme Court justices that will leave an "indelible" mark on history, said a prominent Christian lawyer.
For many reasons the presidential election this year is historic and unprecedented, including the real possibility of electing the first African-American U.S. president or the first woman vice president.
But perhaps less obvious, or less talked about, is the fact that whoever steps into the White House next year will elect two to three Supreme Court justices that will have the power to amend the U.S. constitution and will stay in office long after the 44th president leaves office.
"I think this is the most significant election in our lifetime and I'll tell you why," said Jay Sekulow, chief counsel for the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), during a GODTV Election Special program on Sunday and re-aired Monday night.
Sekulow, who has argued numerous cases in defense of constitutional freedoms before the U.S. Supreme Court, translated what appointing new justices means to middle-aged Americans.
"Let me give you the reality of what that means," the prominent American attorney offered. "I'm 52 years old. The justices that are appointed to the court are usually in their 50's. That means the next two justices will serve probably for the rest of my life."
He added that the last two justices are also in their 50's and will serve, as long as their health permits, for life, while another set of two justices are in their late fifties or early 60's.
"So you see a majority of Supreme Court put in place right now [are] for the rest of my life and my generation," Sekulow pointed out.
Whether the issue is about life, church-state separation, the Middle East, or the war on terror, the U.S. Supreme Court will have an impact on it, he said.
"So the next president will leave an indelible mark on the Supreme Court," Sekulow said.
"So the impact coming out of this election…all of that is going to be impacted by whoever the occupant of that house is going to be," he added. "So there's a lot of stake."
He also contended that the next U.S. president will set the direction for the Middle East and for democracy and freedom in that region for the rest of his generation's lifetime.
Similarly, Bishop Harry R. Jackson, Jr., founder and chairman of the High Impact Leadership Coalition (HILC), commented on the potential "sea change" in Supreme Court justices if a president who is "not conservative" is elected.
"What we have is a potential for a sea change in the wrong direction and everything we thought about, [like] reversing Roe v. Wade and everything else, becomes a pipe dream if you have one or two liberal leaning presidents," he commented.
Jackson, a registered Democrat but popular Christian right leader, said that if Sen. Barack Obama is elected, he wants to remind Obama that he promised during his election campaign to reduce abortion and to improve the stability of families.
"We need to step up and say as Christians, we want to help you do that," Jackson said during the GODTV Election Special. "We are willing to come to the table at crisis pregnancy centers. We are willing to come to that table with a myriad of intervention activities, but we need you to use your faith-based initiative money to help us to fund the effort to do that."
On the other hand, if Sen. John McCain is elected, Jackson would tell McCain that he got elected because "Christians turned out on mass, at the last minute, without really being wooed by him."
Then he would lay out his group's list of key priorities to McCain and demand that Christian leaders have access to him as president.
"Most people don't realize that we did not have as much access to President Bush in the last term than we should have had by rights having had put him in in 2004," Jackson noted.
Throughout the broadcast, many Christian leaders emphasized that irrespective of who is elected the next U.S. president, followers of Jesus Christ have the responsibility to pray for whoever is in power even if they disagree with the person on certain issues.
Others that participated in the Election Special included Pat Robertson, founder of Christian Broadcasting Network; Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council; Phil Cooke, Hollywood producer and faith and media analyst" and Congressman Trent Franks (R-Ariz.).