Since this needs only one more vote I may as well call attention to it so someone can finish killing it - According to the Catholic Church, does Jesus condemn those who don't believe?

As the voting currently stands... enter image description here

Unclear... seems like a lazy vote especially given that the question has three decent answers, and no one bothered to comment on the question regarding what makes it unclear and "impossible" to answer.

I also feel that the question is not primarily opinion-based since answers could be backed up by Scripture (in fact, some have done this) or perhaps by a citation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church (I've yet to finish reading this myself).

If moderators feel the question should legitimately be closed then please let me know exactly why so that I can either rephrase the question or prevent from asking similar ones in the future.

2 Answers 2


It should be closed as phrased, but a very slight modification can salvage it

I tend to agree that the "Unclear" doesn't fit but...

It could be closed for either the "Primarily opinion-based" or "Questions asking for the truth or validity of a particular doctrine or belief (aka Truth Questions), and questions asking Is X a Sin? are not a good fit for our site, due to their subjective nature, and the vast number of possible Christian opinions on such topics. See: We can't handle the truth"

This all hinges on one statement in your question above:

I also feel that the question is not primarily opinion-based since answers could be backed up by Scripture

That statement, odd as it may seem, is one we've had to deal with on the site in a way that seems at odds with basic "Christian" way of thinking – particularly for those of us (that includes me, personally) who believe that the Bible, not man's opinion, is the ultimate source of Truth.

The problem is that there are plenty of doctrines/beliefs out there that are not only different, but wholly opposite, and all of them can be "backed up by Scripture". The various groups that adhere to these wildly different beliefs can usually point to Scripture for the source of their teachings, they just point to different verses, and/or interpret the verses differently. (Of course, there are also completely extra-Biblical teachings; I'm ignoring those for now.)

A classic example is Calvinism and Arminianism

A couple of relevant links to help rephrase that issue are:

Your sentence goes on to say...

or perhaps by a citation from the Catechism of the Catholic Church

Now you're onto something. You're looking for a specific, authoritative documented teaching of a specific group. The only problem is that nowhere in the title of the question or in the question body itself do you say that you're looking for a Catholic teaching. The wording is phrased as if you're asking for the Truth. It's only if you look at the tags that we can tell that you've got any leaning toward an established denominational or doctrinal teaching.

Now I realize the votes aren't overwhelming, but we did address the question of whether tagging a question is sufficient to scope the question, and the answer with the most votes is "no". The main reason for this was:

The reason being that your average newcomer to the site is not going to pick up on that little nuance. Experience SE members, sure. We get tagging. your average new visitor? Probably not.

When someone who doesn't know to look at tags, or get the nuances will look at your question as a "Truth" question.

The simple fix:

The Simple fix is to adjust the title and preferably the body of the question to start with something like "According to Catholic teaching...", so that it's clear that you're looking for a distinct established teaching.

Final note: If it does get closed, you can always flag it to be reopened. Closing a question isn't necessarily permanent. As long as it's been edited properly, a question can get reopened.

  • Thanks for taking the time to provide such a detailed response to something that, as it seems, you get quite often. I'll make your suggested edits and hope that it can be saved.
    – Yuck
    Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 12:00
  • @Yuck - Even if it gets closed after editing, you can flag it for attention. I've seen plenty of questions get closed after being edited to be on-topic just because sometimes the reviewers were rushing through the review queue and didn't realize that it had been edited, and weren't paying enough attention. Commented Apr 22, 2016 at 12:03

Rather than asking only for Catholic answers, it would be much better to turn it into a textual-discrepancies question. To do that you'll just need to quote from one of the verses which says that Jesus will judge.

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