This question: Why is homosexuality a sin in the Bible? was closed as "not constructive". I'm curious why that was. For reference, here are some similar questions:

So I have two questions:

  1. What was the reason for closing it? Was it the subject, the phrasing of the question or something else?
  2. What is the rule / guideline we can learn from to apply in future situations?

2 Answers 2


Please understand that the suggestions below are some things that come to mind about the issue at hand, and are not at all my judging you because we have a few different ideas. I suggest them in a spirit of hoping to improve the quality of the form of questions here, not to try to exclude your questions!

Also in reviewing these, there does seem to be some inconsistency in what survives and what gets closed. I think we're all still trying to sort out what does and doesn't fit the format here and we're still not very good at it. Here I suggest some issues that might apply to your question, but some of these are also issues on other questions including my own foray into the topic.

One thing that caught my eye in your question is that it opens numerous different angles and thus leaves it open to being a thread that draws out debate rather than coming to a conclusion. For example you lead with a premise that the practice in question doesn't hurt anyone else. Whether it is or not, that is one whole like of questioning that would need to be dealt with. Next you lead with your own definition of sin and ask for answers to work from there. I for one would disagree with your definition, thus making it a very difficult question to answer without dragging it off-topic. Lastly, you ask a why question about God that would be much better generalized as a question in itself rather than launching it from this controversial issue.

  • 2
    Good answer, thank you. That's very helpful. Indeed, I was not aware of the "hidden" (to me) assumptions in my question. I initially thought the closure was because I raised the issue of homosexuality, so I'm glad to see that, at least for you, that was not the case. BTW, I tried to ask the question in a neutral way without exposing my opinion on homosexuality, to avoid influencing the response. I'm learning all the time. :) Commented Sep 1, 2011 at 11:35

"Why" can make for a pretty open-ended question. According to the FAQ...

You should only ask practical, answerable questions based on actual problems that you face. Chatty, open-ended questions diminish the usefulness of our site and push other questions off the front page.

Also, the question that you mention asks why The Bible says something. It may be considered not constructive to attempt to know the reasons that the writers of the Bible may have written something, particularly from the point of view (which many Christians hold) that the words in question are the inspired words of God. Your question can be interpreted as asking why God thinks or does this or that, which easily be be considered unknowable apart from the explanations actually contained in scripture.

  • This original posting is from 2011 and it's on meta. Not sure why you would answer it now, 18 months later.
    – user3961
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 6:42
  • 4
    @fredsbend Why not? This clear studying succinct aid to understanding why why questions are such sketchy affairs. The specific examine example question is just that: an example of a kind of possible problem we still regularly face two years later!
    – Caleb
    Commented Apr 2, 2013 at 19:00

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