There was an interesting article on Adrienne's blog today about an ongoing problem in certain Conservative circles: anti-Catholicism. It seems that some yahoo calling himself 'Wild Bill' Finlay posted a rhetorical question on Facebook: Should basic Bible knowledge be required to become Pope? The evident purpose of this meme was to elicit a throng of Catholic-bashing comments, which it did.
Well, to answer Finlay's question we'll mention a brief point. Finlay lists his theological training as Montana Bible College in Bozeman, Montana. Pope Francis' include San Jose University (Argentina); the Philosophical and Theological Faculty of San Miguel (Argentina); Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology (Dublin, Ireland); St. George Graduate School of Theology (Frankfurt, Germany). I think that we can safely assume that Francis had some basic Bible knowledge far above that of Finlay's.
But that aside, the commentary on Finlay's page often descended into gutter-level Catholic-bashing on par with some of the 19th Century Know-Nothing Party's anti-Irish propaganda. And 'Wild Bill' didn't criticize any of it. Instead, he took a writer named Allison Lombardi to task for daring to stand up to these bigots.
"OK, Allison," he wrote rather ominously, "You pulled a pin on a grenade, now get ready for the blast!"
"I'm not sure what you mean by that." she replied.
"If you want to defend the Catholic Faith, you better be prepared to get hammered with a lot of questions about some really questionable Catholic Doctrines. False religion is a serious threat to this country...so be prepared to have some battles on here...hopefully it will remain civil..."
Regular readers here will note that this is a very common rhetorical tactic frequently employed by Manosphere Red Pill types like Dalrock, Vox Day, Rollo Tomassi, etc. There's actually a term for it: the Delphi Technique. Basically it's a device for achieving a desired consensus by triangulating a group discussion. Finlay throws out a topic; gets the desired response, then turns the discussion against a single critic. And note too the hints of violence that are subtly planted in that brief exchange.
Besides that, for all his pretensions of being a theological expert, most of "the really questionable Catholic Doctrines" brought up by his readers are explained in the Catholic Catechism; which most of us read around age 12 before Confirmation.
Finlay garnered a lot of publicity and support in the Summer of 2017 when he was detained and deported from Canada as an undesirable alien. He was scheduled to speak at a political rally and "peaceful protest." The fact that Canadian authorities stopped him at the airport and seized his computer for forensic analysis tends to make us a bit suspicious that a simple 'hate crime' was not their motivation, as Wild Bill strongly suggested.
And there's reason to suspect that there's latent violence behind Finlay's activism, judging by the company he keeps. He's done public appearances with the psychologically-unbalanced Rev. James Manning. Manning believes that homosexuals should be executed by stoning and that Starbucks adulterates its coffee to induce homosexuality in its consumers. Manning praised ISIS once for destroying cultural artifacts on the grounds that ancient statues of Middle Eastern deities promotes idolatry.
Finlay is also a close associate of the Rev. Terry Jones whose great claim-to-fame was holding public book-burnings of the Koran and other Islamic literature. (I guess this is belated retaliation for the Moslem burning of the Alexandrian Library in the 7th Century). Jones shares with Finlay expulsion from a foreign country: in 2009, he was deported from Germany for running afoul of German anti-cult laws. Finlay, Manning, and Jones were all close to the late Rev. Fred Phelps. The four together could make a Mount Rushmore of Fanaticism.
We don't need kooks and charlatans like these in the Conservative Movement. They alienate people and give others a false impression of what we stand for and represent.
UPDATE: Since writing this article, Adrienne also uncovered today Finlay's connection with a multi-level-marketing 'patriot' site. That supports our suspicion about him employing the Delphi Technique. The Delphi Technique is studied and used by many engaged in marketing and sales professions.