As a Protestant myself who is in the process of converting to Catholicism, this is right up my alley.
PLUS… my father is an ordained Lutheran minister to boot.
Anyways, much of the differences and mindsets have been well pegged already in this thread IMO, but I want to introduce a suspicion of mine that ties in social and political norms into the divide.
I’ve always theorized, and mildly sensed, that Protestants view the Catholic church as very “Dark-age European”, or controlling, tyrannical, and under orders of a King. Meanwhile, Protestantism feels it offers “Freedom”, as in the Constitution, Rights, and America.
It would be one of those underlying elements that nobody outright says, but is there. I’ve spent 30 years as a Protestant. I don’t know all, but for some reason I’m led to at least suggest this theory and opinion.
I think Luther’s breakaway from a troubled Catholic Church (at the time) is often linked to America’s breakaway from an oppressive England (at the time).
The difference, of course, is that there’s certainly no promise that the Holy Spirit will work through and correct America.