Yet Another "Apology" That Isn't One

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Yet Another "Apology" That Isn't One

The Washington Nationals pro baseball team announced yesterday that it suspended a volunteer chaplain and, according to The Post, "distributed an apology" from one of its players, Ryan Church, for controversial remarks he had made a few days earlier. Church was quoted in a front-page Post article suggesting that Jews are headed for eternal damnation.

But what the newspaper called an apology was nothing of the kind. No, this was yet another case of what I call the non-apology apology. Call me a sentimentalist, but apologies used to mean someone was admitting that he or she had spoken or acted inappropriately. These days, the apology has evolved into a one-sentence, take-the-heat-off message.

Here is The Post describing Church's apology:
In a written statement yesterday distributed by the team, Church said: "Those who know me on a personal level understand that I am not the type of person who would call into question the religious beliefs of others. I sincerely regret if the quote attributed to me in Sunday's Washington Post article offended anyone."
Just for future reference, the first tip-off that someone is not truly apologizing is when he/she uses the word "if" within the so-called apology statement. Using "if" means that Church is only conceding that he might have offended someone.

Even more pathetic is the fact that Church dares to claim that anyone who knows him knows that he is "not the type of person who would call into question the religious beliefs of others." Well, apparently, your friends and teammates don't know you that well because that's exactly what you did. According to The Post:
An article in Sunday's paper about Baseball Chapel quoted Church as saying that he had turned to (chaplain Jon) Moeller for advice about his former girlfriend, who was Jewish. "I said, like, Jewish people, they don't believe in Jesus. Does that mean they're doomed? Jon nodded, like, that's what it meant. My ex-girlfriend! I was like, man, if they only knew. Other religions don't know any better. It's up to us to spread the word," Church said.
Is Church going to pretend that this statement doesn't "call into question the religious beliefs of others"?

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