Rabbi Joshua Hammerman’s essay critiquing football phenom and devout Christian Tim Tebow has elicited an outpouring of anger. (It also looks like it has disappeared from the website of The New York Jewish Week, which originally published the article.)
Now Hammerman has issued a statement apologizing:
This week I wrote an article for the Jewish Week in which I attempted to explore the phenomenon of Denver quarterback Tim Tebow to make broad points about society and extremism. I now realize that some of my statements had the reverse effect of what I had intended and for this I deeply and sincerely apologize.
I have spent my entire career engaged in dialogue with people of all faiths while speaking out passionately against all forms of bigotry. I have the deepest respect for those who are committed to their faith, including Mr. Tebow. I realize the way in which I attempted to make my points was clumsy and inappropriate, inadvertently suggesting the kind of intolerance and extremism my article was intended to disparage. I sincerely apologize to Mr. Tebow, his family, the Broncos and Patriots and all those whom I may have offended.
UPDATE: Hammerman tells me that he has written an apology that he is sending to Tebow.
Human Events posted a screenshot of the article taken before it was yanked.
The Jewish Week has its own apology and explains why the article was pulled from its website:
We apologize for posting an Opinion column on Dec. 14 by Rabbi Joshua Hammerman entitled “My Problem With Tim Tebow,” the Denver Broncos quarterback who is an Evangelical Christian. The column, in fact, violated our own standards calling for civility in posting comments on our website. The policy statement notes that “name calling in any form will not be tolerated, and comments that denigrate any religion or Jewish religious stream will always be rejected.”
The column was removed from our website later that day.
Rabbi Hammerman is a respected spiritual leader and longtime Jewish Week columnist whose writing over the years has been exemplary. This column, however, was more inciting than insightful, and we erred in posting it, which we deeply regret.
Repentance and forgiveness are cornerstones of all major faiths, as is the recognition that we all make mistakes. We trust that the sincerity of our remorse, as expressed by the rabbi as well, will be taken into account by those whom we offended.