Did you see the news report on an avowed Communist and open advocate for the overthrow of the United States who was booted from the Army? That’s right.
Someone who took an oath to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States” had no intention of doing so. He lied and was only in the Army to subvert its mission.
What is more shocking is that this soldier was a commissioned officer—even a West Point (USMA) graduate. He is Second Lieutenant Spenser Rapone, a graduate of the Class of 2016.
How could the nation’s premier military academy allow an outspoken enemy of America to graduate and earn a commission? One of Rapone’s former professors, Retired Army Lieutenant Colonel Robert Heffington, blamed this oversight on “a culture of permissiveness” within the academy. According to Heffington, West Point refuses to enforce academic standards, moral codes, or the Army Values of loyalty, duty, honor, and integrity. In addition, the staff tolerated disrespect toward instructors, honor code violations, and anti-American sentiments.
Tolerance is one of those “buzzwords” in our popular culture that is always assumed to have a positive meaning. “It’s good to be tolerant and bad to be intolerant.” But we profess to have “zero tolerance” for sexual abuse and discrimination. So not all tolerance is good.
The USMA’s tolerance of a traitor could have had disastrous results for Soldiers placed under its command. The staff at Walter Reed hospital tolerated MAJ Nidal Hassan’s hateful rhetoric toward America and its policies in the Middle East. Sadly, however, that tolerance ultimately cost the lives of thirteen soldiers and the wounding of thirty others. Similarly, the supervisors of a U.S. Marine based in Japan tolerated this young man’s Marxist and anti-American views. Further, the Marines trained him as a sharpshooter. His name was Lee Harvey Oswald. And, eventually, he went on to assassinate an American President.
Tolerance for traitors and subversive soldiers in our Armed Forces is a grievance against our Nation. America depends upon the military for its survival. Tolerance for evil is a sin against God, who holds governments responsible for administering His justice (Gen. 9:6; Ps. 82; Rom. 13:1–7). Tolerance can be extremely bad. Even worse, tolerance can be super deadly.
In the Book of Revelation, Jesus found fault with the church in Thyatira. Why? Because they tolerated a diabolical teacher who promoted immorality and idolatry (Rev. 2:20). Evil will triumph through our unchecked tolerance if we let it. It is time to resist evil. It is time to choose the harder right over the easier wrong.
Now, so much of today’s “tolerance” is nothing more than a display of apathy and nothing more than sheer laziness. Perhaps, Edmund Burke had this in mind when he said:
“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”
Dear Father in heaven, please bless our nation and our military with godly and righteous leadership. Please raise up men and women of God to be our government leaders, our educators, our media moguls, and our entertainers. Raise up godly and righteous judges and attorneys that Your justice may be administered throughout the land. Almighty Father, breathe a revival across America and turn our hearts to You in faith and repentance and to each other in love and reconciliation. Save us, O God, for Jesus’ sake. Amen.