Over at My Blessed Home blog:
This is the exact, unedited comment that I submitted for approval. (ok, I admit that I did correct my spelling. I was tired when I typed it up last night and I didn't do a good job of proofreading. But I only changed the embarassing spelling errors.)
Jennifer, you have hit the nail on the head when you said that the "testimony" of Sister Charlotte (which I also have serious doubts about the truthfulness of) does not put forward one real argument against Roman Catholicism. In my humble opinion, both the "testimony" and the pagan symbols argument rely heavily on "emotional appeal" rather than on what most Protestants and Roman Catholics would consider serious theological issues. I attend a Catholic Church but was formerly a Lutheran. I NEVER heard anything like these arguments against the RC Church when I was a Lutheran. We did not attempt to villanize (sp?) Roman Catholics or the RC Church. The doctrine of Sola Scriptura provided enough of an argument. We just stuck with the theological facts and didn't need to make up additional stories to prove our point.
The use of such heavy handed and emotional tactics is what I believe makes the Roman Catholic readers of this blog so upset.
A definition of "emotional appeal" (from the University Writing Center of The University of Central Florida)
Emotional Appeal (pathos)
Not surprisingly, emotional appeals target the emotions of the reader to create some kind of connection with the writer. Since humans are in many ways emotional creatures, pathos can be a very powerful strategy in argument. For this same reason, however, emotional appeal is often misused...sometimes to intentionally mislead readers or to hide an argument that is weak in logical appeal. A lot of visual appeal is emotional in nature (think of advertisements, with their powerful imagery, colors, fonts, and symbols).
When done well, emotional appeals...
Reinforce logical arguments
Use diction and imagery to create a bond with the reader in a human way
Appeal to idealism, beauty, humor, nostalgia, or pity (or other emotions) in a balanced way
Are presented in a fair manner
When used improperly, emotional appeals...
Become a substitute for logic and reason (TV and magazine advertising often relies heavily on emotional rather than logical appeal)
Uses stereotypes to pit one group of people against another (propaganda and some political advertising does this)
Offers a simple, unthinking reaction to a complex problem
Takes advantage of emotions to manipulate (through fear, hate, pity, prejudice, embarrassment, lust, or other feelings) rather than convince credibly