November 9, 2009

Selfish Europe is “dying” claims Chief Rabbi

by David Masters

Europe is a “dying” continent whose people are too selfish to have children, the Chief Rabbi claimed this week.

Lord Sacks said Europe’s secularism and its culture of “consumerism and instant gratification” were to blame for the continent’s declining population.

Europe is the most secular region in the world, and is the only continent with a declining population, the Chief Rabbi said.

Europe’s citizens are not prepared to make the “sacrifices” of parenthood, he added.

The 61-year-old, who has been head of orthodox Jews in the UK for 18 years, said: “Wherever you turn today – Jewish, Christian or Muslim – the more religious the community, the larger on average are their families.

“Parenthood involves massive sacrifice: money, attention, time and emotional energy.”

Quoting the slogan of cosmetics firm L’Oreal, Lord Sacks said Europe’s culture is based on the idea of “because you’re worth it.”

“‘In that culture, where will you find the space for the concept of sacrifice for the sake of generations not yet born?” he asked.

Religion is essential to liberal democracy, Lord Sacks concluded, because it promotes marriage and the family, and safeguards the principles of freedom and justice.

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