My Take: A concerned evangelical's open letter to Charlie Sheen
March 25th, 2011
09:23 AM ET

My Take: A concerned evangelical's open letter to Charlie Sheen

Editor's Note: Margaret Feinberg is an international speaker and author of "Scouting the Divine" and "The Organic God." Follow her on Twitter.

By Margaret Feinberg, Special to CNN

Dear Charlie,

As one of your 3 million Twitter followers, I’ve given you the ability to speak into my life in 140 characters or less, so I figure the least I can do is return the favor (with a few extra characters). You’ve been on quite a ride: setting a new Twitterlicious record for bagging the most followers in 24 hours, reducing "Two and a Half Men" to reruns on Monday nights, and displaying behavior that defies any sense of rational behavior (even among warlocks).

“Charlie Sheen LIVE: My Violent Torpedo of Truth” tour selling out in just 18 minutes, Brooke Mueller dropping the restraining order, and a big wet kiss from Jimmy Kimmel may make you feel like a #winner, but as a well-meaning fan, I’m asking you to put away the Tiger Blood T-shirts and pull back from the Hollywood media blitz long enough to consider the following:

No. 1: Though “Yes” people are always more fun to surround yourself with, maybe it’s time to make room for people who will challenge your thinking and behavior. Maybe you need some time with people who don’t give a rat’s tail that you’re Charlie Sheen.

I have two recommendations: The first is a guy by the name of Rob Bell. He’s been stirring up a bit of controversy talking about who or what is really a #winner in his new book, "Love Wins." A lot of people don’t know what to think about Bell or his nebulous beliefs, but I guarantee grabbing a cup of coffee with him will make you think about yourself and life differently.

My second recommendation is someone named Franklin Graham. Yep, his dad is named Billy. But before you roll your eyes, Franklin knows a thing or two about booze and babes from his youth. His story just might surprise you. Plus, he’s doing a whole lot of good through an organization called Samaritan’s Purse. Franklin won’t care that you’re Charlie; he’ll only care that you’re a human being, and you need more people in your life like that.

No. 2: You need some more #losers in your life. As television’s highest paid actor (nearly $2 million an episode), we can all see how you feel like a “a total rock star from Mars” and that you are riding the high of being “on a drug ... called Charlie Sheen.” The porn stars and the private jets make you feel like a #winner, but maybe it’s time to hang with some #losers, people who have lost everything.

On the other side of the world, more than half a million people have lost loved ones, everything they own, or a sense of life as they know it. They go to bed at night and wake up in the morning under the shadows of nuclear disaster and uncertainty. Maybe it’s time to take a ride to Japan sans the goddesses and remember that all the wealth, fame and celebrity status you’ve been given could be used to help others in need.

Please don’t just write a check. Look into their eyes. Listen to their stories. The reality check will trump anything you’ve experienced in rehab.

No. 3: You’re selling out too cheap. The erratic behavior and incoherent ramblings have left everyone wondering when you’re going to crash. Comparisons to Anna Nicole Smith abound. Other than those who purchased seats for your Violent Torpedo Tour, everyone else is being given free tickets to a crash and burn party.

In case no one has told you, you’re more valuable than that. Don’t give them the pleasure. Instead of opting for the crash, pull up, Charlie, pull up. Embrace redemption — it’s never too late to turn things around and inspire us all with goodness rather than just another implosion.

No. 4: You have five kids who need you around. Even if you dismiss every argument, I have some names you can’t dismiss so easily: Cassandra, Sam, Lola, Max and Bob. Some say any media attention is good media attention, but I can’t help but wonder what your kids will think and feel when they Google your name years from now.

Your children need a loving, responsible father, which you can choose to be — and maybe that’s the best wake-up call of all. If you won’t come to your senses for any other reason, do it for them.

As for the rest of us fans, we want you back, Charlie, on your “A” game as an actor, and as a healthy dad. We’re rooting for you!

One of your fans,


The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of Margaret Feinberg

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Belief • Celebrity • Christianity • Opinion

soundoff (942 Responses)
  1. Neil

    Sorry but you lost all intellectual cred in the first sentence with "As one of your 3 million Twitter followers".

    March 25, 2011 at 3:19 pm |
  2. Joey

    Hey Charlie ... I can honestly say I have never written a response on one of these news posts ever. But your situation is an interesting one. You are a great actor and obviously a very intelligent human being. I have watched all your movies ... serious and funny and enjoyed them all. I also have a bi-polar sister who is very intelligent and funny .. but she lives on the street of her own free will with NOTHING ... Take care of yourself Charlie Sheen.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  3. Lanfear

    THERE IS NO GOD. there i said it.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  4. bella

    good letter-living life to be respectful to others(as to his children at least) is a bigger challenge then what is his life as is.. that is why most people reject a selfless life style because it is more of a challange to give because you have to giveup your own self wants and desires–but the rewards are AWESOME–sorry for those who choose to look in and not out–(did that not going back) hoep the best Charlie so blessed as you are with your children and such.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  5. lindy

    The best medicine for Charlie Sheen is to send him to Fukushima and put him in charge of helping the homeless, the forlorn, the lost and the brokenhearted. He needs a good dose of reality. He may have made $2million dollars an episode, but I see him as the poorest man on the planet. I'm not a religious person, but I do think we all need to pray for Charlie's wellness.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  6. PJ

    There is nothing worse than advice from an Evangelical. Just ask Jimmy Swaggart.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:15 pm |
  7. Beetlespin

    Just sum it up to this.... Charlie, get over yourself.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  8. Sanjaysen

    This is definitely the stupidest blog EVER on Charlie Sheen and his issues. I agree with a lot of folks on this thread – I think I dislike this writer and her intentions more than I hate what Charlie is doing.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  9. Tracy

    Just another person making money being "concerned" about a public figure they've never met. No problem. That is media's job. Brought up in this world, Mr. Sheen knows this. Meltdown, or not...he knows about Hollywood. It was his binky as a baby. Mr. Sheen is doing everything right in capitalizing on the moment. He gets to have fun, Be creative & poetic, make tons of money and hook up with the people live! Way better, artistically, than being stuck in situation comedy hell. Dad was in Apocalypse now...Bro was in Repo Man. This adventure, if done right, will top 'em all. A freakin Poetry tour... HAhahaahah!

    March 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  10. T3chsupport

    Watch this and tell me this man isn't winning...
    [funnyordie id=bfb12aea47 width=512 height=328]

    March 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • T3chsupport

      Welp, that failed. Go look up 'Charlie Sheen's Winning Recipes'.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
  11. Shagrinning

    I was all ready to post a "Let him be you crazy-religious-holier-than-thou-zealot!" kinda response, but really she's right on with pretty much everything...

    /dang it

    March 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • M-TX

      I agree.. she is just acting as a concerned fan.. not a over zealous biggot.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  12. Bill K.

    Margaret, try cleaning up your own backyard before telling others (specially ones you've never met) to do so. I'm sure your life must be perfect.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Michael

      Now.. why do you assume shes perfect, or thinks she is? Shes pretty much on target with her comments, isnt she? You certainly took the time to READ her open letter, so lets not pretend she somehow forced it on you. So, given the fact that you chose to read it, is she wrong?

      March 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  13. Lanfear

    Charlie is whiping his ass with this letter.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:08 pm |
  14. Joe

    All celebrities are the same. Its like someone in power or a kid that was picked on in highschool only to become a cop. Its an ego thing, always has been always will be. Ego and Arrogance is running this planet.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
    • Andy

      Don't forget greed

      March 25, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
  15. Livelystone

    That was a good read

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts


    March 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  16. Jim

    Screw her. I don't like Sheen but I hate people like her more. Andrew Dice Clay had the best advice for Sheen. Google the vid.....it is worth the watch.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
    • David


      March 25, 2011 at 3:21 pm |
    • Michael

      You.. hate people like her? Shes sounds pretty reasonable and sensible to me. One of the best ways to snap yourself out of a rut, out of self pity and depression is to think about others, help others. I really liked her ideas. Maybe you just would rather enjoy the sideshow of his self-destruction, but Id much rather see him become a productive member of society.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  17. Gilbert

    Why don't "letters" like this get mailed? Why is it on CNN? Are you sending letters to his wife who is trying to keep the Dad away from the children, since you agree that his kids need a Dad? Could we not work on healing the family as a whole and not putting all the worries and responsibility on just Charlie? If you believe he has a problem, then surely you must consider society and his surroundings, job, friends, family, and all the moving parts to be greatly affecting his reality. Can't we also consider that his lifestyle choice is working for him? Pursuit of happiness? That "To each their own" freedom thing?

    March 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  18. Justthefacts

    Attn: Doledart and steve
    Now now Girls.......there will be no Cat Fighting

    March 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
  19. Reality

    Sheen violates the basic principle of human existence i.e. "Do No Harm" !!!!....................................

    March 25, 2011 at 3:03 pm |
    • David

      If you think humna existance is to do no harm then probably want to go back under that rock you've been living under. thats all mankind does is harm. We are a parasite that will eventualy be vacinated.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  20. Doug

    Somebody else telling somebody else how to live. It's even worse than Charlie's behavior.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
    • Kellen

      Suggesting a different way of life is not a bad idea. Plus – parents, friends, and loved ones often tell people how to live. Maybe you don't understand that because no one likes you?

      March 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
    • David

      Ah the problem with america. We're all to concerned with others to fix ourselves.
      We resemble our leaders (govt.)

      If you have the money live how you want. it your life and it only comes along once.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
    • Doug

      My family can suggest all they want, strangers telling be how to behave should be beheaded. She's a stranger to Charlie, and should butt of his life. If she wrote this to me I would write her a letter back saying "F*(^ OFF"

      March 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.