Tuesday, August 01, 2006

In a World of Increasing Hatred, Mel Asks for Help ... From the Jews

We all know Mel Gibson was picked up over the weekend for DUI, during which he launched an anti-Semitic tirade. I don't even consider this sort of thing blogworthy, to say nothing of newsworthy. The personal failings of one celebrity pale when I see pictures of Lebanese children lying in a heap of rubble.

But I was touched by Gibson's public statement today, in which he asked for help from the very group he offended.

August 2, 2006 -- 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


Anonymous said...


In your latest post re Mel Gibson, you quote his apology to the world's Jewish community.

That quote includes this sentence: "Every human being is God's child, and if I wish to honor my God I have to honor his children."

This sentence seems to me to be consonant with this sentence from your own commentary: The personal failings of one celebrity pale when I see pictures of Leganese children lying in a heap of rubble."

Are not the children of Baghdad and Qono God's, too?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I don't know too much about God. You'll have to ask her.

But I get your point and you are correct. We all have equal dignity, except for those of us who seem to think they have more.

Doctor Rick said...

I am by no means a Catholic but respect is surely owed to ones choie of religion.

Now then, I am against sympathy to Gibsons situation. I respect him immensely as an actor, however, this was a bad situation and he deserves punishment. But so should anyone.

I have been guilty of the same basic mistake but not been caught (unlike Ted Kennedy).

What more than an appology can we ask for?

He's being made an example of that's fine. But if it's because he is a conservative and has made controvertial films then it's a mistake. Yes, he's an alcoholic, but no one (MJC) ended up at the bottom of a lake because of it.

Mad batter said...

I'm sorry Doctor Rick, but how do you equate Mel Gibson to Mary J Kopechne at Chappaquiddick?

Bernie O'Hare said...

I was impressed by Gibson's unusual apology. He actually asks the people he offended to help him. Over the years, Jews have done this sort of thing. They are the most Christian peopple I know.

Anonymous said...

when I'm drunk I might say things that I don't really mean.....like "what a wonderful future you'll have, Bernie, as a chpinindale."

Bernie O'Hare said...

Well, in this heat, I'm sure glad I have my Chippendale thong, and that's what I'm wearing to the courthouse today. I think I'll do a little dance around the Liberty Bell. Thanks for your comment,. I think ...

Chris said...

WHICH JEWS??? Which 'Jewish community' does he want help from? Rabbis? Secular Jews? Individual people on the street? What?

Bernie O'Hare said...

Chris 'FP': Beats me! Mel sounds like a guy who needs help. I've been there myself. Booze does strange thanks. Maybe that's why I was so moved. But there it is.

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