I was surprised this morning.  It was a good surprise.  Dan Fagan has been one of Governor Sarah Palin’s chief critics.  He is the publisher of The Alaska Standard and an Alaska radio personality.  His criticism has gone beyond policy into personal attacks, maligning her character.  She hasn’t been the only victim of this, other public figures have as well.

He apologized on Saturday:

Which brings me to a verse a friend recently shared with me. It is found in Ephesians and says, "Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen."

When I heard this verse it instantly confirmed what I had suspected for some time. Too much of what was coming out of my radio show, Web site, and Sunday column was unwholesome. For some reason I had convinced myself it was my job to run down and criticize others. It is one thing to analyze policy and issues. It is an entirely different thing to tear down someone’s character with personal attacks.

I will tell you I am ashamed of the way I have conducted myself publicly in recent years and frankly I am embarrassed by it too.

When I criticize politicians for the policies they propose, I have no right to assume I know their motives. They may honestly believe they are doing the right thing.

Some may not buy it, but I’m taking him at face value.  And I rejoice.  Look at what he does here.

  • He shared what led to his being convicted.
  • Explained what he did and was specific.
  • He didn’t make excuses.
  • He expresses remorse.

I’m glad he realizes that we can disagree on policy, but we don’t have to malign someone’s character.  We shouldn’t resort to starting rumors, and leave our opponents’ families alone.  His example is a reminder for me to be careful with my words as well.

What convinced me of his sincerity is what he said in conclusion.

I want to publicly apologize to Sarah Palin, Sean Parnell, Hollis French, Art Hackney, Mark Begich, Frank Murkowski, Matt Claman, Lisa Murkowski, Don Young, Ivan Moore and too many others that limited space won’t allow me to name.

Over the coming weeks I will be reaching out to each of these leaders and others and apologizing in person. I also apologize to those of you who have followed my work. I have let you down and I am sorry.

That is remorse and humility, and I’m glad that he’s also reaching out personally.  That is what a true apology looks like, unlike another “apology” we’ve seen recently.  Mr. Fagan, I pray that God will strengthen you to continue in this current path and that you’ll continue to bear the fruit of repentance.

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