Thursday, August 03, 2006

Mel Gibson's Apology

I'm sure most of you know by now that Mel Gibson was arrested on a DUI charge. What you may not know is that he said some very belligerent things to the arresting police officer, some of which were anti-Semetic.

This must have been a low point in Gibson's life. Relapsing into addiction and doing hurtful, regretful things... it's excruciating to watch talented people (especially affable people) fall, but what must it feel like for them? They have to live with their actions forever.

Gibson came out almost immediately to acknowledge that what he said and did was wrong and that he apologizes to whomever he has hurt. Gibson did not have to make this apology—like most people who foul up in the public eye, he could have simply muttered a few words like, "yeah, I shouldn't have done that" and scurried into a hole for the rest of his life. The guy is so big, after all, that he doesn't really have to account to anyone anymore.

But we all have moments of weakness and accepting responsibility in a timely and complete manner is an example we should all be striving towards. If only everyone were as courageous as this, and be accountable for everything we did...

Here is Gibson's full apology:

Statement from Mel Gibson
Tuesday, August 1, 2006; Posted: 11:43 a.m. EDT (15:43 GMT)

(CNN) -- 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. It's about existing in harmony in a world that seems to have gone mad.

Post Scriptum: This post has started an interesting discussion over on Myspace.

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