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The OP of https://christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/28476/christian-non-christian-relationship asked a personal question: "What should I do?".

I answered the related generalized form of the question, i.e. instead of "What should I do?" "What does the Bible teach?".

My answer was deleted. Not only that, but it was deleted by a moderator, so it cannot even be voted for undeletion.


I am directed to read the help center to find why my post was deleted.

Answers that do not fundamentally answer the question may be removed. This includes answers that are:

  • commentary on the question or other answers -- Not possible; there were no other answers.
  • asking another, different question -- Nope. No questions here.
  • "thanks!" or "me too!" responses -- No.
  • exact duplicates of other answers -- Not possible; there were no other answers.
  • barely more than a link to an external site -- No links.
  • not even a partial answer to the actual question -- It might not be a "complete answer", but this reason explicitly does not set the bar that high. My answer is at least a "partial" one.

For which of these reasons (or perhaps, an unwritten but valid close reason) was my answer closed?

  • Paul, i think we just have to accept that this site is a censored-content site. if the content is not what the moderators want to see, then it's deemed by the moderators as "offensive" or "low-quality" and removed. i guess it's one way to control the message. – robert bristow-johnson Jun 1 '14 at 7:43
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    @robert The main focus of moderation here has to do with format, not content. Doctrine is not the basis for moderation, but conformity to site guidelines, particularly scoping, is. If moderators are not doing that job that is an issue to raise for review in a meta post, not comments. And no, we don't just label things as "offensive" because we fell like it. It is a discressionary call but that is total mis-diagnosis of how things work here. If you'd like to assert otherwise, open a post and see if the community agrees. – Caleb Jun 1 '14 at 11:05
  • "The main focus of moderation here has to do with format, not content." that is a falsehood. the actual behavior of the moderators portrays the intent and focus of the moderation "cabal". – robert bristow-johnson Jun 1 '14 at 13:31
  • So what exactly is their intent and focus? – curiousdannii Jun 2 '14 at 0:13
  • @curiousdannii, the moderators edit and censor on the basis of content. if they dislike something enough, they label it "offensive" or "low quality" and use that as a pretext for censoring it. that's what they do. – robert bristow-johnson Jun 3 '14 at 6:48
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You already identified the problem in your answer:

your question is of a personal nature and outside the scope of this site

The problem here is with the question, not your answer per se. We have a well established policy of NOT answering questions that call for pastoral advice (not even by commenting). There are layers and layers of problems we encounter by doing so. Even if your answer is not bad advice or actually dangerous, allowing answers to such questions is not a precedent we want to allow. This site is simply not scoped to deal with counseling people on what is right and wrong.

It is fairly common practice to remove all answers to questions that are closed for being judged pastoral advice. This avoids tension over "why was X allowed to answer this and not me" and extended comment threads that tend to feed off of anything advice related.

If you have a concern with a closed question, you should focus on the question. Only if the question can be fixed and re-opened in line with our side guidelines will we then review any answers and whether they should be restored or not. In the mean time please refrain from providing any sort of answer to questions that are clearly off topic.

  • Thank you. In most cases, deleting the answer does depend on the answer itself. So it is good to know that for this particular question close reason, existing comments and answers are usually deleted (because of the question). – Paul Draper Jun 1 '14 at 6:33
  • This does introduce a bit of a problem...if the question is modified and reopened (I'm not holding my breath, but that is the idea: the question is closed, not deleted, in the hopes that the author will improve it enough to be reopened), then there is no mechanism that will undelete my answer, nor can I vote for undeletion if I happen to notice the question has been reopened. – Paul Draper Jun 1 '14 at 6:37
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    @PaulDraper There is a mechanism for that. If the question were to re-open and you think the answer should be restored you may flag it for moderator attention. Besides, the question re-open process usually gets reviewed by moderators and high rep users that can see deleted answers. – Caleb Jun 1 '14 at 6:47

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