TAKING ON ‘SATANIC WICKEDNESS’…. We talked the other day about the leadership vacuum in the religious right movement, now that James Dobson is retiring, Jerry Falwell and D. James Kennedy are dead, and Pat Robertson is irrelevant. But who’ll step up to fill (or stand in) the gap?

Kyle at Right Wing Watch highlights this NBC report about a new religious right outfit ready to combat “satanic wickedness.” Seriously.

In the wake of James Dobson retiring from Focus on the Family, leaving a possible vacuum of power in evangelical leadership, Dr. Gary Dull and other Christian leaders are forming The Faith and Freedom Institute to combat “satanic wickedness” in order to return America to a foundation of Biblical principles.

“America was founded with a spiritual basis, but there are those who want to make it a purely secular nation,” Dull said near Capitol Hill Thursday. “Because of the rejection of God and His values, we can expect nothing but His judgment. All one needs to do is to read in history and find out how that when a nation forgot God, God forgot the nation.”

“Without a doubt, we believe that there is a definite agenda to destroy America that is being empowered by satanic wickedness and enhanced by Godless citizens,” Dull said. “The Faith and Freedom Institute desires to put those who have an adverse vision for America on notice that we will not lie down and allow them to overtake us and our heritage, but that we will intend to stand up and fight for those rights given to us by God Himself and proclaimed by many who committed their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to make America work.”

The agenda of the new group apparently includes such innovative ideas as combating abortion rights, condemning gays, and encouraging government to endorse Christianity. In other words, it’s the same agenda every other religious right group has embraced for a generation or two.

It gets back to a point from the other day: this won’t work. The religious right has already tried this approach. The movement is losing its relevance because Americans have grown tired of hearing religious extremists rail against “satanic wickedness.” The Faith and Freedom Institute apparently wants to have an impact, despite not realizing what century it is.

Steve Benen

Follow Steve on Twitter @stevebenen. Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.