Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Mel Gibson's Apology

While there has been a great swirl of interest in Mel Gibson's anti-Semitic rant while being arrested for DUI, most of it prurient, I think his apology should be just as widely circulated.

ABC News: Mel Gibson's Statement: "There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. I want to apologize specifically to everyone in the Jewish community for the vitriolic and harmful words that I said to a law enforcement officer the night I was arrested on a DUI charge.
I am a public person, and when I say something, either articulated and thought out, or blurted out in a moment of insanity, my words carry weight in the public arena. As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologize directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words.

The tenets of what I profess to believe necessitate that I exercise charity and tolerance as a way of life. Every human being is God's child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children. But please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot. Hatred of any kind goes against my faith.
I'm not just asking for forgiveness. I would like to take it one step further, and meet with leaders in the Jewish community, with whom I can have a one on one discussion to discern the appropriate path for healing.

I have begun an ongoing program of recovery and what I am now realizing is that I cannot do it alone. I am in the process of understanding where those vicious words came from during that drunken display, and I am asking the Jewish community, whom I have personally offended, to help me on my journey through recovery. Again, I am reaching out to the Jewish community for its help. I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable. But I pray that that door is not forever closed.

This is not about a film. Nor is it about artistic license. This is about real life and recognizing the consequences hurtful words can have. Its about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad."

Mel has accepted complete responsibility for his comments and their implications. I think his apology comes from a true sense of remorse, not from some financial or otherwise ulterior motive. Now we will have an opportunity to watch him make amends with actions not just words and then we can truly gauge his sincerity.

Whatever the outcome of this incident to Mel Gibson, personally and/or professionally, it will be interesting also to watch how the people that vilified him apply the same standards to others such as Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Or not.

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