Taunting and Baiting Apologetics Threads

Is it just me, or have there been an increase of threads started by Catholic “apologists” with the apparent purpose of goading non-Catholics into an argument? Things like:

“Hey Protestants, where do you think the Bible came from?”
“How Can You Protestants Believe in Once Saved Always Saved?”
“How come Muslims believe in a man (Mohammed) instead of God”

Things like that. And we hate it when anti-Catholics start these kinds of threads.

Are threads started by Catholics for this purpose useful, or do they show a lack of charity? Don’t anti-Catholics come in here with enough with these same misconceptions? Are amatuer apologists trying to stir up controversy just to get practice? Are some wanna-be apologists so itching for a fight that they resort to goading?

I’m not saying it’s any of these; I’m just interested if others have noticed this and in what people --especially long time forum members - think about it. Thanks.

The purpose of those threads is to open understanding. I would not consider them baiting or taunting. I must say though that those questions which you posted cannot have a real answer because Protestants will give different interpretations on them.

Matt Dulla, Tim Staples friend, usually use the same tactics that help him convert to Catholicism. I’m sure you have read Tim Staples testimony.

I don’t think it is baiting at all. I think it is serious questions on serious differences,

The wording of these examples seem designed to illicit a bad response, but the questions are legitimate.

Maybe this would be better for the first two:

“What do Protestants believe concerning the makeup of the Bible in terms of who made the decisions on the books to be included?”

“What is the theological source and background for the ‘Once Saved, Always Saved’ doctrine?”

The third question may be fine as worded, although I am unsure of the official Muslim teaching on “believing in Mohammed”.

Actually, my observation is that it is quite the opposite, it’s the protestants posting the taunting threads. I see them all the time.

Here’s an example: forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=212635

I agree. Yes, the questions are legitimate, but they do seem to be worded in a way that is somewhat deficient in tact. It’s hard to imagine getting a positive response from anyone when the questions are phrased that way. Texasags did a good job of rewording the same questions in a way that is less off-putting.

It seems to me that if someone feels you are questioning their intelligence from the get-go, they probably won’t be open to what you have to say.

I think I agree with you to an extent … But this is the internet, a place suitable only for the thick skinned, unfortunately. I agree that the questions you mention can be asked in more charitable ways. Consider:

Hey Protestants,…


How Can You Protestants Believe …

These can be stated in more charitable ways and should be.

Yes, I agree. That would be a much better framing of the questions. Not only should we always *answer *questions with gentleness and respect, we should always ask them in that manner as well.

No question about it.

But I am not talking about the bad manners and questionable tactics of some Protestant posters, but of our own as Catholics. :slight_smile:

Sometimes its more the form the question takes. It’s quite obvious in some cases the OP wants a fight. And of course they get it. I don’t think it can be necessarily pinned down to only Catholics of course. It’s done to some degree by all “groups” here. It’s done by proddies, and homosexuals, and those that disagree with them. Many of these threads are pejorative in nature. They express a certain judgment. It probably does affect the way the thread goes to some degree, since I do believe people come in looking for a fight based on the selaciousness of the “title”.

I don’t mind the taunting threads. What is annoying is a tactic I see used by Catholics and non-Catholics alike - which is to pretend to be a simple student looking for advice, when the thread is really a trap into an argument. They usually start with something like “I was looking through my Bible and saw this” or “A buddy told me that he heard Catholics believe that” and when some charitable soul tries to answer the question, suddenly the simple searcher pulls out a buzzsaw of a pre-packed apologetic. Fell for that a few times when I was newer here. I try to be honest, if I want to put something out there and argue about I am open about it up front. The false seeking thing is annoying.

Since this is Catholic Answers, perhaps we ought to go to other web sites for non-Catholic answers. It is true the sample questions may be legitimate, but like a lot of by-play on this site lots of hackles stand on end and growls are heard deep in some throats.

Texas hit the nail on the head…

Even the most absurd anti-XYZ question can be asked with love.


“You Protestants, Why are you so dumb… you worship the bible. We worship Christ. How come?”

can also be asked

“It seems to me that Protestants tend to put more faith in the book itself as opposed to its contents. is this true, and if not, why does it appear as such.”

Both questions relay the same message. However, one is far more charitable than the other.

Rule of thumb… don’t do “You” do “I”. especially when asking difficult questions.

“It seems to me…”


“I feel like…”

is far better received than

“You always…”


“Those protestants…”

Perception is how you see things. Ask your questions with that in mind

In Christ

Yup, that really burns my toast as well!

That’s a great point. “You” has a tendency of coming off as accusatory. I try to read through my posts before hitting the “submit reply” button and see if I have used “you” when I could use “I”, or even a third person word like “one” (as in “one might think…”). It definitely changes the tone of the post.

That thread was actually a post in another thread and was split off by the Mod in order to allow the questions to get answers, so it’s not a taunting thread really and shouldn’t be taken that way. I think the Mod just forgot to mark it as a split. Frankly I rejoice in answering such questions.

Remember people, we are not just answering the poster in question…look at the number of people who are not signed in as members here at CAF at any given time (Currently Active Users: 546 (194 members and 352 guests) and consider that they too are reading this stuff and may well have (or have heard) the same thing, so let’s keep them in mind.

I gave that up as a bad plan sometime back. I just got tired of all the trash talk and poor moderation. The only one that I think was worth a hill of beans is the one that SinginBeauty has that encourages Christian unity and decent discussion, and I am still a member there. She’s a nice sister with a good heart.

Human beings… frail weird creatures that we are, are generally pretty lousy at communication and I think the internet, for all it’s speed and wealth of info, is both a blessing and a curse.

I know my post count drops way off when I spend a lot of time here in apologetics because most of my posts require that I think them through before hit that submit button and that slows me down quite a bit.
Pax Domini sit semper vobiscum.

Sometimes those of us that have been the whipping boy of well-meaning Protestants lash out after we aquire a little knowledge of our own faith.

Its not right, but we eventually figure that out.

One possible ex-troublemaker idiot.

I tend to ignore those threads because they lack agape.

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