EDIT: I've made the requested changes and I would very much appreciate your reopen vote.

What does Catholicism teach about 'The Massacre of the Innocents'?

I went to great lengths to carefully craft my question. And yet, with the proverbial stroke of the pen, @Caleb swiftly and unilaterally closed my question, without any guidance about how I could improve the question, etc.

Community: Can you please help me reopen this question?

  • 1
    I have cast the 1st reopen vote. You will need 4 more or 1 mod vote to reopen it. I'm sure you will get them in about a day or less.
    – user3961
    Commented Jul 11, 2014 at 0:11

2 Answers 2


Caleb pretty much covered it all, but I think I'll try to give some specific advice.

Questions should be able to stand on their own so there is no confusion about the scope. As is your questions state:

  • How should Christians respond if they observe infanticide, genocide, or a mass killing in their own lives?
  • Should they simply mourn the dead? Or should they feel compelled to organize and respond in some way?

On their own, they are asking what a Christian should do. On this particular topic, I think the answers will almost always be, oppose the sin.

But it seems like maybe your context is if the event appears to be fulfillment of prophecy. That's better, but still needs a little more I think. Eschatology on its own has almost always been closed.

So what does it need more than that? It needs to tell us who you want an answer from. A good chunk of Christians passively approach prophecy. A small, bit significant bunch are always looking in the news to see what's happening and if it fulfills a prophecy. Each group would give a different answer I think.

It needs a format more like this:

  • How should Christians (belonging to this specific Christian group) respond if they observe infanticide, genocide, or a mass killing in their own lives, when it appears like the event might be fulfillment of prophecy?
    • Should they simply mourn the dead? Or should they feel compelled to organize and respond in some way?

The Christian group you decide to put in there is completely up to you. What will not be helpful is "non-denominational," "evangelical," "Bible literalist," a so on. Those are not very specific terms. What will help is "Catholic," "Lutheran," "Presbyterian," "Calvinist," and so on.

Further reading:

  • 2
    Pretty good advice, but I would still quibble that the word "should" should be re-written out of the question in favor of something that focuses on extant belief / practice. "Should" tends to attract answers from dissidents inside traditions who think their group should be doing something different than it is and that really isn't the question.
    – Caleb
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 15:43

Several close reasons might have been appropriate, but I chose one based on the feedback the question had already gotten:

You're asking too many different things!

...in conjunction with the fact that you are asking for too broad a target audience. Very few questions can be addressed at all of Christianity without further scoping because the as far as this site is concerned the term is an umbrella under which many different groups fall, some with hugely disparate beliefs. 99 times out of 100 you will need to scope your question to something smaller than that.

In addition to that main problem, a secondary problem is that the wording of the question gets into an entire field of not-constructive formats that we simply do not deal with. On this site we deal with extant teachings and practices and our role is simply documenting them. Deciding what they should or should not be is profoundly out of scope for this site. No matter how you scope your question re the problem above, asking "what should" anybody do or believe is simply not a constructive format for this site. The title was fine, but the body of your question went that direction and would have attracted answers that we would probably have to delete.

Your question was closed for those two reasons and it was closed quickly so that we didn't get into a mess of having to moderate answers as well. I'm sorry there wasn't more guidance, I was on mobile at the time and thought the existing comment would at least give you a clue.

  • Thanks for responding. I guess I can kind of understand what you're saying, but are you really saying that this question isn't salvageable? At all? If so, I'm really disheartened because I went to such great lengths to craft and objective, answerable question.
    – Jim G.
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 6:52
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    @JimG. your question is on hold. It probably can be salvaged by editing it to ask just one thing of a perspective that is much more targetted.
    – curiousdannii Mod
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 7:07
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    Did this question ask too many questions? Also, it looks like it's a "Is 'X' a sin?" question too? Also, it's addressing all of Christianity, which, according to you, is problematic and too broad. christianity.stackexchange.com/questions/17787/…
    – Jim G.
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 7:50
  • @JimG. That question is scoped specifically to groups that openly condemn groups and what they do if a practicing homosexual converts. That is borderline, but I think sufficiently scoped.
    – user3961
    Commented Jul 9, 2014 at 15:03

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