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I know that as I write this, I may sound bitter and spiteful for even asking if someone should lose their job after they apologize for ridiculous comments. I firmly believe that once someone says they are sorry for offending either one person, or a group of people, we should accept their apology and move past any hard feelings. However, I wonder, and I am just wondering, if we should treat Rev. Al Sharpton differently.
Primarily, I do not believe, as Mr. Sharpton says, anyone distorted his comments about Mitt Romney and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I do not believe anyone took anything out of context when he was quoted as saying, "As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation." In my opinion, he was taking a shot at the LDS faith, and it’s an obvious shot at that. He said, in so many words, people who are Mormon don’t believe in God, essentially saying it’s not really a religion and basically belittling the church and its millions of members.
So, the man took time out of his show’s schedule to apologize to any members of the LDS church if they were offended in any way by his comments. Realistically, that’s a good thing. I applaud this move, in a way. I feel glad that he realized there are Mormons across the country, and across the world, which were offended by this statement. I do not want to make light of this apology in any way. I think it will go a long way to help Mormons overcome any bad feelings they have toward him.
Several people have apologized over the last year. Mel Gibson apologized after saying Jews were responsible for most major wars while he was drunk. Michael Richards apologized after his blatant and repeated use of the n-word at a Los Angeles comedy club. Don Imus apologized for his words about the Rutgers University Women’s Basketball Team. Alec Baldwin almost apologized for leaving a mean spirited voice mail on his daughter’s phone. However, even after these apologies, their careers have been left in ruins (except for Baldwin, but we’ll see what happens).
In the case of Don Imus, Mr. Sharpton insisted on the firing of the talk-show host, even after he apologized. The act of saying he was sorry was not enough for the reverend. The only acceptable form of reconciliation with the audience was to remove Imus from his show, according to Sharpton. Should members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints ask for the same thing to happen to Sharpton? Some people may say it seems fair to ask Sharpton to get the same type of treatment he gave to Imus.
Personally, I think these things work themselves out. If a radio host, like Sharpton, says truly outrageous things, enough people will complain to the sponsors, and the host will be let go. It will be interesting to see if LDS Church members rally to have Sharpton taken off of the Radio One Network. But, keep in mind one thing. Mr. Sharpton sounds drastically different then he did the news of this statement broke. He told Mitt Romney to fire his press agent for starting a fight he would lose. Now, he says he’s sorry. That’s very interesting.