Manifesto: A Transatlantic Focus on Human Dignity, Liberty and Virtue

Since the middle of the last century the partnership between the United States and Canada and the free nations of Europe has formed the geopolitical basis for greater security and the worldwide spread of democracy, the rule of law and free markets. The principal foundation of the transatlantic partnership and the political, economic and social system that underpins it is our common commitment to upholding human dignity and the individual liberty that a belief in human dignity entails.  This commitment, derived to a great extent from the Christian faith upon which Western civilization was largely built, is now under threat as the public square comes to be characterized by indifference and even hostility toward Christian faith.  Christians and those of like mind must reclaim a place for themselves in the public debate and in policy formulation, not in the interest of dominating or forcing their faith upon others, but in the interest of safeguarding for everyone our most precious public goods -- again, limited government, free markets, and individual liberty -- and the transatlantic community of sovereign democracies without which, in this globalized 21st century, those public goods will be in danger worldwide.

We also believe that it is vital to recognize that true liberty is impossible without a citizenry that is freely committed to seek the good of both individuals and society, including foundational social institutions such as the family.  Good citizenship begins at home and in local communities.  Against today’s strong tendency toward homogenization and centralization of power, we maintain that local, historic and home-grown identities must be respected and fostered. With this in mind, we will not only uphold the classical freedoms of religion, speech, association, press, education and the like but also seek to foster societies that encourage individual and civic virtue -- societies in which people are free to live out the fruit of the Spirit in the public square: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.