My guess is people have always fretted about "what's next?" even as they survived this crisis or that. The church has been an up and down affair since Stephen. The irony, of course, is sometimes we are best when times are bad, and less than faithful in times of peace and prosperity. There is a reason why the blood of martyrs is called the seed of the church.
The 1970's (my youth) were not particularly tough for Christians in America. It was still "the old days" in terms of much of our public values. Church going and Jesus believing were accepted as the norm, even if the recent revolution of the 60's had done serious damage to the insititution of the church. For many of us, it seemed more a prophetic corrective than a problem. Short term it may well have been, but well into the 21st century things appear less pleasant.
Recently I have run across some concern about laws in various states to protect "religious liberty" (chiefly in the right to refuse to be involved working a "gay marriage"--which as you know I think is a legal fiction). On the other side, pro-LGBT elements have a different view. They see it as the freedom to deny basic services to human beings based on prejudice against them. As I step back to ponder what is really going on, in honesty, I must admit that there is not ONE thing going on. There are a myriad of things. There really are faithful people who would be kind to LGBT folk but who honestly and sincerely think that gay marriage is wrong morally and a problem for our society. Granted, those who disagree think this is crazy, but they do. However, there are also a number of folks who are mean and cruel. They would probably deny every type of service to GLBT (and probably some other groups of people). It is foolish to deny that racism and prejudice exist. Always has and always will. (Humans are imperfect and sinful). Likewise, there are many pro-LGBT who honestly think they are advocating for basic human rights. They are worried and concerned that medical professionals will deny treatment, restaurants will deny food, etc. This concern may be overblown, but it is real and at times a fair concern. However, many pro-LGBT are also Leftists, and their agenda is greater than simply providing human dignity to oppressed groups. They are also secularists, anti-Christian and anti-church.
If this were only about being nice to people, then the pro-LGBT folks would be nice to everyone. Some are but some aren't. Those that aren't are a vocal and growing segment of the population. Here is where Liberal Christians are messing up. The Liberals who believe in Jesus are naive in thinking that Secularist Liberals spewing vitriol about Jesus/Christianity will somehow draw the line and accept Liberal Christianity. Not going to happen. One interpretation of the Book of Revelation includes the idea that the Whore of Babylon is the church sold-out to the World. Insert Liberal Christian church for Whore and Secularist Liberals for World and you have the basic idea. [The primary reference of Babylon is Rome, as in the Roman Empire; the sold out church is the one which plays the whore for the Roman Empire. Many Evangelicals recognize the clear allusion to Rome but mistakenly assume it means the Roman Church. The problem of an a-historical approach to Scripture.]
Many of my Liberal friends who disagree with me, post their opinions in public forums. They no doubt delight in the myriad positive comments made on their behalf. However, they are slow to react to statements like "Those people who are against gay marriage always use the Bible. They need to stop forcing their Bible on us. This country is not based on the Bible" etc etc etc. Liberal Christians also tend to undercut Jesus as "a" way, a personal spiritual preference (sort of like strawberry or chocolate or mocha). In direct contradiction to the scriptures (NT primary message is arguably that Jesus is THE only way to the Father; theological implications of this include various schools of thought about 'non-believers' some of which I have written about frequently).
So what is the cataclysm? The laws currently being offered are meant to defend religious liberty, and the vehement attack on that is based in part on a desire to squash religion, period. In any age a well intended law can be reapplied in a new context for nefarious purposes. The people advocating pro-LGBT positions within the church do so at their own risk. The ones who dislike Jesus will not stop once the more traditional church is crushed under its thumb. In two decades, as the last group of people (who remember religion/church as a good thing) die out there will be few advocates, political or judicial, for the followers of Jesus. The anti-Bible propaganda grows in intensity. IF the debate was on interpretation it would be different. It isn't. The use of the Bible to make moral decisions is under attack. It is the Bible they hate, not the use (or misuse) of the Bible. The efforts to impose freedom FROM religion grow ever bolder and more radical.
Many Leftists complain that they feared Bush was going to make America a theocracy. There was wide spread panic among writers and commentators on the Left that the Religious Right was going to impose its faith on all Americans. Whether this fear was genuine or not, I do not know. What I do know is the religious right is always dealing with a corrective; the example of Jesus, Holy Spirit, the long tradition of church teaching and most centrally, the Scriptures. Too much 'servant mentality' is present there to make long term oppression by Christians of non-Christians a likelihood. Inside the church prophets always spring up to criticize the abuse of power by Christians. The Christian faith is inherently better than the participants of Christianity. But what spirit, what word, what tradition is at the heart of the secularist, the non-believer or the anti-Christian? Where is the prophetic spirit in those movements to assure us that our faith will not be mocked and demonized and our freedoms limited and even trampled? Why would they ever be trusted to give us freedom to worship the Lord obey Him? It will not happen overnight, it may be decades in the unfolding, but the harsh critique of Jesus and His church continues to grow in intensity. We are more secular today than we were a decade ago.