Update: Mel Gibson offers a specific apology to Jews for his comments

BBC News has posted Gibson’s full, admirable public apology for his remarks.

Here is an excerpt:

As a result, I must assume personal responsibility for my words and apologise directly to those who have been hurt and offended by those words.

I know there will be many in that community who will want nothing to do with me, and that would be understandable

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 honour my God I have to honour 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.

Gibson’s initial behavior was certainly alarming and deeply disappointing, especially to those of us who defended The Passion of the Christ against criticism that claimed it was a deliberately anti-Semitic expression (and I still do not find derision or hatred expressed in the film itself).

But I find this to be a surprisingly thorough and humbling statement. Anyone reporting on this story who does not give proper attention to this apology is demonstrating their own form of hatred and their own need for confession and healing.

Let’s move on and leave the man to his pursuit of healing.

And let’s pray for him, just as we should all pray for our own protection against such moments of weakness. If we’re honest, we have said and done things in moments of weakness, thing we wish we could strike from the record. And I doubt many of us have had the media ready and waiting to pounce on our mistakes.

As the scriptures say, the enemy is prowling like a ravenous lion, seeking whom he may devour. Let’s not enable him to do any more damage than he already has. Here is an opportunity for learning, forgiveness, compassion, reflection, and a sobering awakening to how quickly we can stumble if we are not on our guard. Like a far more powerful lion, love is relentlessly looking for us, ready to rescue and restore us, and redeem what we have broken.

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  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Dude, I wasn’t censoring… I was excerpting, focusing on the first point that I found worthy of discussion. I wasn’t interested in turning this into a “slam the obviously snide remark” thread. I was interested in what people think of the arguments themseslves.

    I excerpt things all the time here, but I don’t “censor.”

    And the whole point of the post is for people to click on the links and read the whole arguments.

  • Holy Moly!

    Jeffery, it doesn’t do anyone any favors to censor Neuhaus as you’ve done here. We should confront his argument with the inflammatory rhetoric intact, and take it as a whole.

  • Joel Buursma

    My concern with people throwing around the hypocrite label is that then they think that means they can write the person off and not pay attention to anything they say.

    This culture is passionate about tearing down people that take a moral stand. Why is this, I ask? Is because of a noble love of truth and authenticity? Or… is it perhaps more due to the human desire to dodge authority? Said another way, are they really rejecting Haggard… or something more transcendent?

  • jonathan

    I agree with WJ. Why should we be so afraid to be labeled as a hypocrite? We all are. It’s an important part of why we need Jesus so much.

  • Wasp Jerky

    A hypocrite is usually defined either as a person who puts on a false appearance of virtue or religion or as a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings. It’s debatable whether Haggard meets the first definition, but he certainly meets the second. I’m not interested in dogpiling Ted Haggard by any means. But Christians forget that non-Christians aren’t interested in theologizing. For them, if someone says one thing and does another, they’re a hypocrite.

  • M. Cruz

    Out of all I’ve read and heard on this terrible incident – from both Christian and non-Christian sources – you are the first person who has said we need to be praying for this man.

    Thank you.

  • Gene Branaman

    Very well-stated, Jeffrey. Amen!

  • Thom

    Actually, that second one was a rather on the nose exploration of Sean Hannity.

  • The Cubicle Reverend

    http://atheistrevolution.blogspot.com/2006/07/mel-gibson-reveals-his-anti-semitism.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/steve-young/lets-guess-how-hannity-w_b_26135.html

    I found the above at an atheist web site and at the huffington post. You should hear a lot of the interesting “insight” into this matter. Are we going to have an either/or back and forth on this?


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