Our Mission, Values, and Principles
The Freedom & Virtue Institute is dedicated to the promotion of the ideals of individual liberty, built on the conviction that human freedom, inspired by the virtues of self-reliance, character, and faith, is the most effective means of offering hope and human dignity to those in need.
Our mission is accomplished because we abide by the following values:
- Individual Freedom: We believe that true individual freedom is realized when one understands that he or she is in control of their own destiny.
- Human Dignity: We value all individuals and enhance individual dignity through promoting the principles of character, self-worth, entrepreneurship, and individual well-being.
- Education: We teach the principles of effective compassion to families, communities, volunteer organizations, and churches, and those we teach spread our message throughout their local communities and across the country.
- Initiative: It is community-supported and private economic initiative, not government intrusion, that is the best instrument in building lasting and positive change in our society.
- Self-Reliance: Reward must be connected to achievement if we are to avoid the attitudes of entitlement and dependency. We teach individuals that they must be in charge of their own life and well being.
- PERSONALISM AND INDIVIDUAL FREEDOM - Because we all have been made in God’s image and possess free will, the quality of our lives is determined by the choices that we make. The Institute thus rejects a victim mentality that fosters self-defeatism and rather encourages individuals to accept personal responsibility for their actions and everything that occurs as a result of those actions.
- LIMITED GOVERNMENT - Society is comprised of various networks and mediating institutions such as family, community, church, and government. Though it is impossible for individuals to function without these mediating bodies, the Institute believes that effective change starts with the most basic ones, and that the higher institutes, such as government, should not interfere unnecessarily.
- EFFECTIVE COMPASSION AND HUMAN DIGNITY - Compassion is a measure of how we, as humans, treat each other, and the Institute encourages the promotion of personal responsibility, accountability, and religion. Charity is about intelligent giving and intelligent withholding, and is not about simply doing what feels good, especially when what feels good conflicts with what is right.
The Institute works to develop local networks of “activists for freedom” and to bridge the gap between doers and thinkers by
- Disseminating literature on relevant topics
- Offering effective workshops for prospective entrepreneurs
- Providing consultation services and educational conferences to reach out to local communities
One of the most fundamental assumptions in America today is that of the government assuring the common good, while the Institute believes that such government-driven solutions need to be reconsidered. The excesses, abuses, and errors of government bureaucracy are good testimony for the need to restrain government from unnecessarily intervening in the affairs of America’s free people. In pursuing our goals, we do not support any specific political parties or candidates, but instead look at the “big picture” and the role of government in our society as a whole, while examining the role that faith and religion play in public life.
We believe that it’s not government, but human freedom and private initiative in local communities that are the best instruments to create lasting positive change in our society. In times past, before government existed in its current form, humans relied on informal systems of support during times of trouble, and even the idea of charity was based on principles involving limited government. The Freedom & Virtue Institute strives to educate the residents of Southwest Florida on the richness of America’s founding principles of limited government and individual freedom, to uphold the ideas of human dignity and personal responsibility that result from having free will.
The institute brings to the local community opportunities to learn, discuss, and implement these principles:
- Love of America
- Love of neighbors
- Concern for the poor
- Respect for the principles of freedom
- Desire to build communities based on human dignity