I'm a bit at a loss for how to handle these questions in a manner that
- Reflects the fact that this is an academic site hosted by a secular company
- Provides pointers for a person to go find help if they need it and
- Doesn't compromise my own beliefs.
I'm going to start with the most obvious thing. First and foremost if someone arrives on our site, and asks one of these questions, it means they haven't spent very long understanding who we are and what we do. It's stated in at least two places in our documentation (including the About page which is shown to every new user), that we do not do this kind of question.
Secondly, we've discussed this brand of questions several times and have always agreed that
- They are off topic.
- They should not be answered
- We should leave a comment directing the person asking the question to someone in real life who can help with their problem directly.
That said, I always assume that a new user hasn't read the [about] page, that they definitely haven't read anything from the [help]. So I always leave a comment explaining the What (that their question is off topic) and the Why (because it's seeking advice better sought from a pastor/priest/counselor that is ill suited for both this site and this format).
I have the deepest sympathy for these folks. As do others. However, we've decided as a community that we are not suited to answer these questions (we'd rather no one answer at all, really). However, the fact is that I and others on this site believe that asking a bunch of random strangers on the Internet questions driven from a deep spiritual need is at best ill thought out, and at worst detrimental to your soul. I get the desire for anonymity, but ultimately if you've got these kinds of needs you've got to tell someone, preferably face to face.
I'd be interested in collecting some trusted internet resources to refer folks to, but currently our policy is that if you users would like to assist these folks we have a chat room where you're welcome to offer a prayer.