How Should Mel Gibson Repent?

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As Mel Gibson made his second apology to the Jewish community yesterday for his drunken anti-Semitic rampage following his DUI arrest Friday, Jewish leaders and pundits alike suggested how the obviously troubled actor might find a cure.

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"Maybe there needs to be a J.A. -- a Jewish Anonymous -- where we can work with him to show him that what he said is hurtful and what he can do to help change that perception," said Joseph Potasnik, Executive Vice president of the New York Board of Rabbis.

"Mel Gibson needs to truly understand... the pain of Jewish history, and he needs to learn about the Jewish people. I would start with a visit to the Holocaust Museum in Washington," he added.

Abraham Foxman, director of the Anti-Defamation League, agreed.

"Two years ago, I was told by his publicist that he wants to meet with me and have an understanding. I'm still waiting. There is no course, there is no curriculum. We need in-depth conversation. It's therapy -- and the most important step in any therapy is to admit that you have a problem, which is a step he's already taken," Foxman said.

Gibson seems to be sober and on the same page, at least for now. He apologized Monday, announcing through a spokesman that he would undergo rehab for alcohol abuse, then added yesterday that he is in the process of understanding where his repressed anger stems from, and wants to reach out to leaders of the Jewish community to make amends.

"There is no excuse, nor should there be any tolerance, for anyone who thinks or expresses any kind of anti-Semitic remark. Please know from my heart that I am not an anti-Semite. I am not a bigot," he said.

In addition to the remarks from prominent figures in the Jewish community, the New York Daily News has outlined a 12-Step Program for Gibson:

  1. Read The Diary of Anne Frank; Night, by Elie Wiesel; The Chosen, by Chaim Potok; From Beirut to Jerusalem, by Thomas L. Friedman, and Maus, by Art Spiegelman.
  2. See the films Life Is Beautiful, Sophie's Choice, Schindler's List, even Exodus.
  3. Watch Paper Clips, a documentary about Christian children who, to comprehend the number of Jews killed in the Holocaust, collected 6 million paper clips.
  4. Visit the Holocaust museums in New York, Washington and Jerusalem.
  5. Visit Auschwitz.
  6. Or the Western Wall.
  7. Read the Old Testament.
  8. Go to a Passover Seder.
  9. Or a Sabbath dinner.
  10. Sit shiva.
  11. Have a sitdown with Mel Brooks, Woody Allen and Billy Crystal.
  12. As atonement, eat 10 pounds of pastrami, which Zero Mostel said "killed more Jews than Hitler."
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Let those of us who have NEVER thrown a harsh critism around in a fit of anger, sadness, regret, or outrage stand on thier soap boxes and whip Mr. Gibson with thier pious judgement. It is a wonder to me that the issue that he BROKE THE LAW by driving under the influence doesn't seem like more of a problem to some people than just spouting off in a drunken rage.

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while it's true what you say about this being a bigger deal because it's mel gibson -- in the sense that it's public knowledge -- i don't know that people should let it go. the man clearly has repressed anger and serious problems. he threatened police and unleashed a hateful tirade after he was stopped from recklessly endangering himself and the general population. no one's perfect and i am willing to give mel a second chance if he does what must be done to make this right, but i can't just drop it, you know?

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honestly I think it is only because he is Mel Gibson that this whole world is up in arms over this ordeal and if everyone is as god abiding as people claim then why not leave it alone and let him do as he needs to make his own way on his path. I am not a holy freak nor do I claim to know all the right answers and being just a poor family commoner who happens to like this man I say Leave it alone, just as if he was a no-body you would.

Mel Gibson Biography

Mel Gibson mug shot Mel Gibson used to be known only for acting and directing. Now, you can add hating Jews to that list. Despite massive success as an actor... More »
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