Basic Tenets and Approach

Statement of faith: We hold to the traditional, historic, orthodox Christian faith as expressed in the Apostles' Creed as it has been commonly understood throughout the centuries.  We are open to members of all of the branches of the traditional Christian faith -- Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox.

Human Dignity: To quote the Basic Law of the Federal Republic of Germany, "human dignity is inviolable."

The sole source of human dignity is our status as image bearers of God -- the fact that God created us in his image. The inherent dignity of every human being as an image bearer of God entails a political, economic and social framework that respects the right of each individual to live, as far as feasible, in liberty.  In addition, human dignity entails the obligation of each individual to respect all others as fellow image bearers of God and treat them accordingly.

We also acknowledge that all human beings are captive to their sinful nature and in need of redemption.  This makes the state necessary to restrain evil and safeguard the rule of law.  However, as all human institutions, including the state, are also subject to the effects of sin and imperfection, the powers of the state must be limited and subject to checks and balances.

Limited Government:  The primary purpose of government is to provide for and enforce the rule of law domestically and security internationally.  In order to preserve human freedom, both for individuals and for social institutions such as the family, the powers of the state must be carefully limited and subject to checks and balances.  In this globalizing world, not only national governments but also all other structures of governance must be accountable to the appropriate electorates.  Because of this, we take a cautious approach to international organizations and supranational institutions that claim the right to exercise power without direct accountability to an electorate.  We believe that subsidiarity is an important principle in the exercise of governmental power.

The Nature of Liberty: As indicated above, liberty and human dignity are intrinsically connected.  They both give rise to the same combination of rights and obligations.  A fundamental characteristic of liberty is the freedom to do good, without authoritarian or totalitarian coercion by the state or government.  In the public square this implies not only government protection of the classical freedoms of religion, speech, association and pressbut also the calling of each individual to live out the fruit of the Spirit in interaction with others.

The Nature of the Family: We believe that it is necessary for the long-term strength of society to protect and honor the family as traditionally understood.  The ideal manifestation of the family consists of a father and mother, united in marriage and living together with their children.  We recognize that this ideal is not always possible.  We also maintain that children belong to their families, not to the state or schools.

Implications of our Transatlantic Approach:  To  reach our goal of influencing public policy from a Christian and politically conservative perspective, we wish to provide a forum for all people interested in bringing such a perspective more fully to bear on the political, economic, technological and foreign policy issues that North America and Europe face.  We invite people from all areas of public life – politics, business, academics, the natural sciences, emerging technologies, education and journalism, for example – to participate.  We will foster an environment of mutual support among our participants in which all can learn and benefit from each other.  Also, we will function as a platform that we and our participants can use to bring our perspectives into the broader public debate.

Inclusive Approach: We seek to collaborate with all people, Christians and non-Christians, who recognize the importance of the basic principles and virtues that underpin Western society.

A Forum for Debate: We seek a core group of participants made up of orthodox and thus, in the broadest sense of the word, conservative Christians.  That said, we leave room for political disagreement among our participants and, as a forum for debate among Christians and conservatives as well as for exchange with the general public, we look forward to robust debate and discussion on a broad range of issues.  We believe that such debate and discussion – including outreach to people of other faiths and the non-religious, as well as to the general public -- is vital to the achievement of the type of transatlantic partnership we seek -- one more firmly grounded in the pursuit of the free and virtuous society and a transatlantic public square that is open to the voices and influence of traditional Christians, conservatives and others of like mind.