Conservative Christians are not hiding their disappointment in the outcome of the 2012 election. Not only did the candidates that they supported not win but they also saw losses in the marriage and pro-life battles.
"On every level – presidential, congressional, social – it was a bruising day for our movement that no amount of spin can improve," wrote Tony Perkins, president of Family Research Council, in an email to supporters. "Americans had a choice, and they made it. Is the outcome what we want? Obviously not."
GOP candidate Mitt Romney lost the presidential election to President Barack Obama after losing most key battleground states, including Ohio. Obama surpassed the 270 electoral votes needed to win a second term and also won the popular vote.
Conservative Christians are concerned that Obama will continue his pro-abortion and pro-gay actions over the next four years. They also fear more violation of their religious liberty, particularly through the Health and Human Services contraceptive mandate. They had hoped for a repeal of Obamacare through a Romney administration.
"This was supposed to be the morning when Americans got up and shook off the nightmare of the last four years. Instead, they awakened to a new one: a profound drubbing of the Republican Party that is supposed to be the guardian of the conservative vision our nation so desperately needs," said Perkins.
Some of the other losses for conservatives Tuesday include Floridians rejecting a ban on taxpayer-funded abortion and the legalization of marijuana in two states.
Traditional marriage supporters also suffered a big blow Tuesday after all four states – Maryland, Maine, Minnesota and Washington State – that had ballot initiatives on same-sex marriage voted in favor of gay marriage. Previously, each time marriage was on the ballot, voters had chosen to protect the traditional definition of it.
Brian Brown, president of the National Organization for Marriage, admitted to feeling disappointed but did not concede defeat.
"Obviously last night did not go the way that we had hoped, prayed and worked so hard to accomplish," he wrote to supporters. "Our endorsed candidate for president, Mitt Romney, came close but did not cross the finish line. We are very disappointed in losing four tough election battles on marriage by narrow margins.
"But make no mistake: we are disappointed, but we are not defeated! We are fighting for a true and just cause – God's institution of marriage."
Despite the perfect record traditional marriage supporters had – where Americans in 32 states voted overwhelmingly to protect marriage as between a man and woman – going into Tuesday's election, they knew they had an uphill battle this year as marriage was up for a vote in the "deepest-blue states," Brown noted. Additionally, they were heavily outspent by gay marriage advocates.
"Our opponents and some in the media will attempt to portray the election results as a changing point in how Americans view gay marriage, but that is not the case. Americans remain strongly in favor of marriage as the union of one man and one woman," said Brown. "The election results reflect the political and funding advantages our opponents enjoyed in these very liberal states."
Perkins also noted that the gay marriage movement was likely helped by Obama, who announced his support in May for same-sex couples marrying. He also endorsed three of the gay marriage ballot initiatives.
"[W]hile homosexuals may be celebrating an end to our movement's perfect record, they still have a long way to go to match the 32 states where Americans voted overwhelmingly to protect the union of a man and woman," said Perkins. "And that includes North Carolina, where President Obama's endorsement of same-sex 'marriage' likely cost him the state's electoral votes."
The FRC head is confident that voters will see the consequences of their pro-gay marriage votes and reconsider their positions as many are doing on the abortion issue, 40 years after Roe v. Wade.
"Forty years after Roe v. Wade, the nation is more pro-life, and the abortion issue is far from settled. As with same-sex 'marriage,' the Left can make it legal, but they can never make it right."
Despite the major setback, conservative Christians are determined to get back up.
"Though we are disappointed over these losses, we remain faithful to our mission and committed to the cause of preserving marriage as God designed it," said Brown. "Marriage is a true and just cause, and we will never abandon the field of battle just because we experienced a setback."
Perkins concluded his post-election email this way: "In two years, there will be a political opportunity to embolden and provide allies for these who stand for life, marriage, religious liberty, and limited government.
"Until then, our mission is as critical as ever. It's time to get up, dust ourselves off, and trust in God's ability to work in dire situations ... We do not serve victory; we serve God. And to Him, in these anxious times, we turn."