Summer has finally arrived along the Midcoast. That brings warm days, pleasant evenings on the deck, visits from grandchildren, gatherings with friends, and the pleasures of seasonal restaurants and entertainment venues. Of course, summer also brings annoyances: Our vicious mosquitoes and deer flies, "No Vacancy" signs, waiting lines in the best restaurants, and the perennial Wiscasset traffic jams. Summer brings out more folks who aren’t necessarily visitors and, apparently, are in a desperate rush to get someplace else and relax. But, failure to plan their time does not entitle them to treat other drivers and pedestrians as objects that clutter their right of way, and their behavior is intolerable.

Examples of intolerable behavior today are common, and they endanger our fundamental God-given and constitutionally recognized rights to “life, liberty and property.” When individual arrogance breeds behavior depriving others of their fundamental rights, we rely on our laws and our government to restore the victim and impose consequences on the offender. But government cannot restore a life, completely restore the victim’s liberty and property, or impose penalties on the offender proportional to the offense. The simple truth is, government cannot legislate, and courts cannot enforce, good behavior. We will not reverse the deterioration and division of America until parents return to teaching their children fundamental concepts of morality and ethics.

That is not happening, and more than ever before in my lifetime, there is no universal agreement on what is moral and ethical. Even the right to life is disputed in absurdly contorted arguments that avoid the moral question by detouring into “women’s health” or “woman’s right to choose.” Perhaps because our ability to restore the victim is so limited, some use "rehabilitative justice"’ as a pretext for reducing correctional facility budgets and staff while guaranteeing that more offenders are allowed the liberty to offend again.

It is profoundly disappointing, but not debilitating, that we have among us some who seek to profit financially or politically by denying the fundamental truths in our founding documents and their foundational Judeo-Christian concepts of morality. Good and evil are fundamental concepts: Disrespect of others, murder, adultery, theft and envy define evil and only the pathological or profoundly ignorant fail to acknowledge that. They are not worthy of our attention and they deserve no role in creating America’s future.

Despite our Judeo-Christian foundation, Americans have repeatedly embraced collective ideas. The failures of collectivism, whatever name is applied, are universal. Such regimes have always and everywhere failed and been destroyed, all too often after murdering tens of millions trying to sustain their power. North Korea, Venezuela, Cambodia, Somalia, Cuba, Russia and China are just a few examples of regimes surviving only through the political power that Mao told us comes from the muzzle of a gun.

We have a noisy, hateful, ignorant, violent, arrogant rabble clamoring for socialism here. They demand income equality (denounced in Matthew 20:1-15 by the Parable of the Workers in the Vineyard), guaranteed sustenance despite contribution (denounced in Thessalonians 3:10), and reparations today from those who share nothing but race with others who, decades or centuries ago, allegedly wronged people who share nothing but race with those making the demands.

The very concept of generational (much less racial) reparations is, of course, utterly senseless and nobody speaking of it deserves attention, much less acknowledgment or affirmation. Most egregious of all are those who say America was never great, or that people today are poor or criminal or addicted because of institutional discrimination and “white privilege.” They are but the noisy gongs and clanging cymbals of 1 Corinthians 13:1. Their ideas are intellectually bankrupt. Their words are patently absurd and confirm their motives are purely selfish and corrupt.

“Why the biblical references” you legitimately ask? They come not from expertise or feigned piety. They come from history and the wisdom passed down to us from our ancient ancestors. It is arrogance to suppose we are wiser than they were, or even that we are more educated in, or knowledgeable of (two very different concepts), morals and ethics. The ideas denounced are plainly not original or new. They are failed notions, long ago rejected and they deserve nothing less today.

If we are to create a safe society and a viable country, it’s up to us search for workable solutions and stop applying fresh lipstick to malevolent and foolish ideas from antiquity.