In Gratitude: Big, beautiful, loving families all over the world

In yet another airplane interview, Pope Francis said to reporters and the entire world that “Catholics don’t need to breed like rabbits.”

Simply put, there are no words to adequately describe the heartlessness of that statement, no matter how he or his legions of yes-men may try to contextualize it.

So to all the big, beautiful and loving families of this world, whatever your creed, I say thank you for bringing love into the world.  Each conceived soul is a gift from God, not an economic asset or liability on Pope Francis’ or Planned Parenthood’s spreadsheets.

One day people will see that.  Until then, we must keep our hope alive, and rejoice in the love that does exist in this world,  expressed in so many ways, including by parents whose hearts are filled with joy and excitement with the addition of each new child in the family.

My 2014 Persons of the Year: The 66 Fallen Israeli Soldiers

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(Oren Simcha Noah, Age 22, of Hoshaya, Israel)

They were men whose lives were cut short, and were doubtless some of the most hated people in the world, serving in the army of what is now one of the most hated countries in the world: Israel. Yet at this time of year-end reflections and media selections for “Persons of the Year,” this dissident blogger chooses a group of men whose loss I not only mourn, just as I do the loss of the far greater number of Palestinians, but who have won my total respect: the fallen soldiers of the IDF of 2014.

One need not offer a political blessing to the so-called “Operation Protective Edge,” which resulted in the deaths of nearly 2,200 Palestinians, mostly civilians, or for that matter offer one’s blessing to the current Israeli government’s broader military defense posture – I certainly do not – in order to appreciate the contributions these beautiful fallen men have made, not only to their country, the only Jewish state in the world, but to the basic decency of modern nation-states.

When nations send their young adults off to war, and those people are killed in war, it is right, and should be normal, that the nation grieves the loss of those young lives. To do the opposite – to not grieve as a nation – is to reduce those lives to mere cannon fodder. That, in a word, is ungodly.

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