My question about same-sex civil marriage was closed for not being focussed enough. Now, I could refocuss it by asking twenty new questions: Why do Roman Catholics object to same-sex civil marriage? Why do Southern Baptists object to same-sex civil marriage (even though the entire point of the Baptist chuch is separation of church and state)? Why do Mormons object to same-sex civil marriage? And so ad nauseum. But I suspect that the vast majority of the answers would be the same. So that would basically count as spamming.

I think this is a little similar to my question on interest. Where the vast vast majority of Christian traditions have the same belief/practise, presumably for the same reasons, to what extent is it necessary to split the question up by tradition?

3 Answers 3


One huge difference in the Judaism question is that it asks for the source in Hebrew law for the prohibition. Joel opens with his interpretation of the cited passage and, with a lot of thought and research, asks where exactly the behavior violates the law. Very specific.

Your question, in comparison, simply raises a broad topic of discussion, without an actual problem you are trying to solve. There's nothing inherently wrong with these discussions, but they are not terribly well-suited to this type of Q&A site. This site is about providing a well-vetted, concise answer to your specific questions.

With your 20-quesitons analogy, I think you are misinterpreting the purpose of asking more-focused questions. It's not about narrowing down the audience as much as it is narrowing the scope of the question; something that can be answered completely and concisely in this format.

In a Stack Exchange sense, yours isn't a question per se, it's a topic of discussion.


I didn't vote to close the question as being not focused (although that is one, comparatively minor, aspect of the question), I did so because the question is a train wreck:

I ask why it is so common for Christians to fight against religious freedom by seeking to impose the restrictions of their denomination on all others.

This does not read like an honest attempt from someone who wants to understand Christian beliefs or doctrine: it's a call for people do defend their faith against something you already believe Christians are wrong about before hearing any argument for it. It's about as useful and inviting as asking "Why do you beat your wife?"

To paraphrase the Fallacy Files, a loaded question, like a loaded gun, is a dangerous thing and it only leads to people getting hurt. And sure enough, that's what happened.

We don't need this type of vitriolic back-and-forth here: it's exactly this type of thing that gets experts to roll their eyes and avoid sites like this. We will never get people to view this site as a place to get useful answers to questions about Christianity if we continue to entertain open-ended "defend this, Christians!" questions like this.

To this end, Richard's suggestion on the question about whether or not a specific answer there is hate speech seems like the most sensible solution. This is not salvageable and it should just be deleted.


I don't think focusing on denomination here is the idea. I for one would not like to see the same question asked 20 times for every tradition you could name unless the question matter was giving back interesting different answers for each one.

However our guidelines do not dictate denomination as the only option here. There are theological frameworks and points of doctrine that can be used to scope things in a way that crosses many denomination borders. In some cases where there are only a couple options, it might be reasonable to ask for an overview of of the different perspectives.

The problem I saw with your question as it is right now is that it doesn't have any framework at all for right or wrong answer. It's basically asking for opinions of why "people" do things. That's not a good SE question because everybody's "whys" might be different and in this case probably are. Basically your question leaves the answer field open to the entire scope of the debate on the issue. This site isn't the place for the debate to rage on.

  • If you could suggest a way to focus it, I'll listen.
    – TRiG
    Oct 14, 2011 at 10:53
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    @TRiG What specific problem do you have that you are looking for the answer to solve? What are you looking for in an answer you would click the "accept" button for?
    – Waggers
    Oct 14, 2011 at 13:27
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    @Waggers. Well, something other than hate speech would be a start.
    – TRiG
    Oct 14, 2011 at 14:42
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    It sounds to me like asking "What is the Biblical basis for objecting to same-sex civil marriage?" would be a step in the right direction.
    – Flimzy
    Oct 14, 2011 at 22:51

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