I’ve never started a “rant thread” before, so this should be fun.
I’ve become increasingly aware of how often many of us Catholics will toss around the term “Protestant” as a label in order to denote that something is diametrically opposed to the Catholic faith. Except, most of the times I’ve encountered the term used, it has more to do with practices rather than any sort of doctrinal teaching.
Someone will say “That hymn has a distinctly Protestant flavor”, or “That type of prayer is thinly-veiled Protestantism”. What does that even mean? The term is so broad as to be meaningless. And even if something is often associated with “Protestants”, that does not mean it is necessarily opposed to Catholic teaching.
And, when the “Protestant” label is used in this way, it is ordinarily used in such a way as to make the person’s argument above criticism. All they have to do to “win” the argument is to attach the “Protestant” label to the other person’s point of view. If you disagree, well, that just means you have subconscious “Protestant” tendencies. Maybe it’s because you were a convert, or maybe you’ve been reading the works of too many converts. :shrug:
I guess I’m a little frustrated because this usage has the tendency to put up a major roadblock in any intelligent discourse. It seems to always lead to bickering.
I’m not sure what the point of this thread is. I guess I just wanted to bring the issue to light in the hopes that we can all work towards being more charitable and clear in our discussion. To simply call something “Protestant” does not help clarify anything. A preferred tactic would be to articulate precisely what it is about this or that song, prayer, etc. that contradicts this or that clear Catholic teaching.
Okay, I’ll get off my soapbox now. Does anyone agree or disagree with my observations?