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.