When it sounds like this:
"As a combat veteran, I want to make it clear to anyone in uniform and to their loved ones: my poorly stated joke at a rally was not about, and never intended to refer to any troop. I sincerely regret that my words were misinterpreted… and I personally apologize to any service member, family member, or American who was offended.” This is for stating before a college audience: “Education, if you make the most of it, you study hard and do your homework and you make an effort to be smart you can do well. If you don’t, you get stuck in Iraq.”
He…regrets….that…his…words…were…misinterpreted… Doesn’t that imply that I owe him an apology? Or the thousands of military who were offended? Was Kerry the offender or are they?
Here is how to confess and right wrongs (and I borrow this liberally from “The 2959 Plan, A Guide to Communion With God” from S.S.B. Ministries):
1. Confess & Repent (admit it and have sorrow) to God
“I now rejoice, not that you were made sorrowful, but that you were made sorrowful to the point of repentance…a repentance without regret, leading to salvation.” 2 Cor. 7.9, 10
2. Accept God’s forgiveness and rejoice in freedom from the burden
“If the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.” John 8.36
3. Make it right with those offended: Confess and ask forgiveness.
“If therefore you are presenting your offering at the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your offering there before the altar and go your way; first be reconciled to your brother, and then come and present your offering.” Matt 5.23, 24
Wrong approaches to asking for forgiveness:
A. Sharing blame “I sincerely regret that you can't get my joke."
B. Being vague “I sincerely regret [being]... misinterpreted"
C. Placing a doubt “It was a joke, but I apologize to anyone I may have offended.”
Right approach to asking for forgiveness:
Name the offense “I see I have been wrong in implying that the troops are stupid. Will you forgive me?” or how about even "I see that I have been wrong in implying that the President is stupid and uneducated. Will you forgive me, Mr. President?"
4. Make it right/make restitution
5. Set it right within yourself/forgive yourself and seek cleansing
“When I kept silent about my sin, my body wasted away through my groaning all day long…” Psalm 32.3
You're looking quite thin, Mr. Kerry.
11-2-06 UPDATE It's not perfect, but here is a pretty good apology. He admits shame for what he has done wrong (although he is a bit vague on what he did in this particular statement), he resigns (makes it right) and he asks for forgiveness. Of course, he was caught red-handed and there was little room for spin.) I don't know what he said to God, but I hope he apologized to Him, too.