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. Jim

    Oh and...God is about as real as Charlies love for his children. It's 2011. Time to grow upa s human beings.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
  2. deush

    here's the reality lady, stop wasting your breath. and try to help someone worth helping. his kids are better off without him around. wake up, and realize this guy is a narcissus. and people like him don't care about anyone but themselves. you think your going to change him? ha, think again, just ignore him that's the best medicine for people like him.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
  3. Peezy Dub C

    Just off the line with Charlie. He said he doesn't read CNN comments from the commoners. We are all burning
    up our own precious time.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  4. Jim


    He has never been on his A-game an actor. That was his father’s job. He has never *starred* in anything worth seeing twice. He has never been a model human being.

    You just wrote an entire article hoping to help a hopeless person. A person who will look you right back in the eye and tell you he is better than you after you pour your heart out to him.

    His tour sold out in 18 minutes. I suggest you direct this article to the millions who bought tickets. The hypocrites who label people like Charlie and complain about their finances...but just gave a lowlife celebrity their hard earned money .

    You’re welcome.


    March 25, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • John

      Wait, can i get my money back?

      March 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Are you completely insane?!?!?!

      Hot Shots Part Deaux is one of the greatest films ever made! If you have only seen it once, then you need to see it again. If you thought poorly of the film, then you are dead inside.

      "I have my father's eyes" – 🙂

      Navy Seals (underwater knife fight), Platoon, Wall Street, Being John Malkovich, Discovery Mars, Major League 1 and 2, Men At Work (genius!), Eight Men Out, Friggin' YOUNG GUNS, Red Dawn... all excellent films.

      Maybe you just don't like movies as much as you think. 🙁

      March 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
  5. Fond_Phantom

    Leave it to an Evangelical to presume that she has some sort of special insight into the life of a total stranger. How presumptuous of you! So very self important... so very righteous! What advice would strangers give you, were the media x-ray turned in your direction? Here's my advice... when Sheen asks for your help – give it readily. Until then, butt the heck out because all of your assumptions about the man are based on BS you've seen in the "news" and on TMZ, ET, The Soup, Howard, Tosh, etc., etc., etc.

    I mean... Rob Bell? Really? Your self importance is really showing. What a bunch of tabloid drivel! Ha!

    March 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
    • pothead

      Exactly! Leave Charlie along... Chew on your own skeletons, trolls!

      March 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  6. Peezy Dub C

    Peace, love, and understanding

    March 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  7. sami

    #LOOSER No tiger blood just vodka and pity in the end.
    Bye DaD

    March 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  8. Mort

    Charlie put down the drugs at least the coke stick to Marijuana and not around the kids!!

    Forget cocaine it will destroy you!! Your life is awesome plenty of money and plenty of fans jeesh Dude get your head out of the sand. And stand tall like I know you can!!

    March 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
    • Nahom

      i say put down the coke and try pepsi . . . it is sweeter

      March 25, 2011 at 3:39 pm |
  9. CynicalSteve

    Who the hell is Margaret Feinberg to tell others how to deal with there own concerns. Man made organized religion was created to make organizations rich and powerful. Too many people make a living out of pushing some deity or other. " Send us your money and you'll get your reward when your dead". This is it people. Be responsible for your own actions. It's no one else's fault your an a__hole. You will be until you decide yourself to change.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  10. matthew

    Charlie you rock man!!! Keep being yourself and enjoy your life to the fullest !!!! ##### WIN ####

    March 25, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  11. big tuna

    Dear Margaret,
    Your anorexia is really begining to show. If you keep it up you will die and
    not be able to self-promote and sell silly tapes and books.
    Start slow ~ 1/2 a cheesburger a day.
    Your friend in food,

    March 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • pothead

      If she would take that simple brain head out of the fantasy Peter Pan book she reads she might have time for a hamburger...and fries! The little bible is a book and nothing more. And "Scare Tactics" is also a book and nothing more...

      March 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Simple Brain Head

      Thank you for the new band name!

      March 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  12. MrPLex

    Le tme tell you something woman...the world is on a drug called nature right now and Charlie is being Charlie, he wouldn't be where he is today if he wasn't Charlie. I say love him or leave him alone....If you don't want to encourage slackness then don't pay him any attention but all of this attention is making him think he is a winner!!!! Don't you get it?? the more foolishness he pulls than the more people pay attention and he gets his way!

    March 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  13. joe

    Stick your noses BACK into the bible you religious freaks. You want to know why people are so against all things religious? It's because of idiots like you! WE don't care what religion you belong to or whether or not you believe God exists or not. Believe all you want to... we don't care. But we do care when you try to shove your beliefs onto someone else. That's what bugs people about religion. YOU believe what you believe. WE'LL (including Charlie Sheen) will believe what we want to believe. Butt out! I would love to go toe to toe with anyone of you bible tooting idiots. BUTT OUT!!!!!

    March 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  14. Hotcyberchick

    As I stated before Charlie is normal like the rest of us meaning we all have times of pitfalls. He is human and will mess up. He's a great actor and that's what we love about him. What has happened to him is horrible but he will pick himself back up and will be alright if he doesn't tremble so to speak. Let's get off the religion bandwagon.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  15. Kate

    Um, Charlie Sheen has always been and will always be a dirtbag. Has everyone forgotten his infamous ties to Heidi Fleiss? In the past 15 years or so, nothing has changed. He's simply not hiding it as well anymore.
    During all his success the last few years on 2 1/2 Men, I have witnessed him first hand ogling every passing woman like a lecherous old man.
    Sorry, folks, but there's a reason why he's always cast as the sleezy loser. It's not a stretch for him. Ferris Bueller, Major League, 2 1/2 men. It's not like he's shown much range in his career. Which is a shame, because there was almost a glimmer of talent in Platoon...

    March 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
    • pothead

      Charlie a dirtbag? You must be a good christian. Hey, you know all his shows! You must have enjoyed him until you got turned loose half made.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Why must you be so judgemental of people you don't know? Every interview I've ever heard with Heidi Fleiss (sp?) has shown her to be a very intelligent, fun and positive person. Oh – I see, you don't like the fact that she was a whooore. Y'kow who Jeebus hung out with? Holy people? NOPE – WHOOOORES and other societal misfits. Now... (walks to chalk board) I'm not SAYING that Charlie Sheen is Jeebus, but...

      March 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  16. Al

    CNN and news coverage. Isn't that an oxymoron principle? I also agree with a lot of other commentary that this writer is
    bewildered, sensational driven , ambulance chaser. Its not about news, never usually is with CNN. Its about mismanaging
    the news.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
  17. kayaker247

    Religious people telling someone else how to live their life are the most annoying creatures on the planet.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • moon hermit

      Ah! I couldn't have said it ANY better, Kayaker!!! Kudos!

      March 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • hlldcrstn

      non-religious people telling religious people they are stupid is getting old too.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Andy

      So true.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
  18. Bender

    From one stupid nut Job to a nut job....... At least Charlie isn't stupid.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Doug

      Damn right. Charlie's just not centered properly. Happens to all us from time to time, just not in full view of the world.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • pothead

      @doug Very good, very true! If Charlie was here posting he would be #winning

      March 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm |
  19. pProf

    Based on this article, Margaret Feinberg has not an inkling of the gospel of Jesus Christ. What does this mean, "Embrace redemption — it’s never too late to turn things around and inspire us all with goodness rather than just another implosion." You don't embrace "redemption." Jesus accomplished the redemption of all those, and only those, who embrace him. If Sheen repents of his sins and embraces Jesus by faith, good works will follow. We will not be "inspired" by his "goodness;" certainly God will not be impressed. The only man good enough to be accepted by God was his son Jesus Christ; and now all those who are in Him are so accepted. What a shame for Margaret to have this column space, and waste it on such modern-day "gospel" talk, which is, as Paul describes, "another" gospel that is anathema.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • hophead

      Why does your fairytale have to influence my life? You write as if you know what you're talking about, but it's still all BS.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • copanut

      Oh, wow. Let's dissect this. First, Charlie Sheen is brain damaged by a life of drug addiction coupled with a life of privilege surrounded by sycophants. Second, Ms Feinberg is confused by a combination of pulp religion and pop culture, and while her attempt at public religiopsychoanalysis is well intentioned and harmless, it is also useless. Third, pProf is one scary dude so enraptured by his delusions of divine comprehension that he has no idea how ridiculous he sounds. He thinks he has special knowledge of god, all of which is based on fantasy without factual foundation, and he somehow feels he not only knows more than unbelievers, but he even attacks a fellow Christian. So here we have three different people suffering a variety of mental addictions to drugs, pop culture, or religious fanatacism (or some mix of these), all of whom think they have something of value to offer to perfectly normal people who are not delusional.

      It's amusing. It's sad. But for goodness sake it isn't news, so why is this linked from the home page of CNN?

      March 25, 2011 at 3:51 pm |
    • ScienceSoma

      When you repeat the details of your mythology, how often does it occur to you that someone equally as passionate about their mythology repeats it, proselytizes it, and has the same confirmation bias approach (everything that happens just confirms what you believe because you are not objective enough to accept that there is no evidence for your claim.) Many Christians have a tendency to believe their fellow followers are not the right kind of Christian, which is one glaring inconsistency in your religion (the most evident being your source book.) Please, please employ a degree of rational thought. Those of us who do recognize diatribes like yours to be just as irrational and crazy as those of Charlie Sheen.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
    • pProf

      @copanut: most of us are "perfectly normal people" and as such are sinners standing under the wrath of a holy God who demands perfect obedience to his law. Only one man accomplished that obedience, and his name is Jesus. With him God is well-pleased, and with anyone who is in him. Your desperate need and mine is to be found in him.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
  20. pothead

    We hear very few Jews bashing anyone. We don't hear of the Buddhist bashing anyone. If your god was real and knew what you good god fearing people were saying, he would send you to your hell.

    It appears (if you believe polls) that the christians are loosing their battle to win over the rest of us. What's wrong christians, the money bag getting a little light on sunday?

    March 25, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • pProf

      The God of the Bible *is* real, and is the eternal, omniscient, omnipotent ruler of this universe, of which you, Charlie, and I are insignificant specks. What I believe about God is based on His written word, and his living Word, the risen Lord Jesus Christ. What are your beliefs founded on?

      March 25, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • Jared

      Seems people got tired of being told to change their ways or they'll go to hell. Spiritualism is in, divine wrath and punishment are out. It's the new trend.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • hophead

      Here Here.

      Believe what you want. But don't force it on anyone. I for one am sick of everyone passing judgement. If you cling so tightly to that pretty little book, then why don't you follow the Judgment is for god and god alone?
      This this is a book written by men to control people with little rule of law. Damnation will keep the peace and allow someone to not have his sheep molested by his neighbor. Why is logic, science and intellectual thought frowned upon by religious people namely Christians and Muslims?

      RE: Charlie you're not going to win him over by telling him to find Jesus or anything like that. He's already #winning

      March 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
    • DT74

      Why would you go on a belief message board and post how God is not real. Does this make you feel good? Do you have any facts? Of course not. You just BELIEVE that their is no God. I would suggest letting others believe as they would like and change your name to something that doesn't invoke being a loser.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • pothead

      My beliefs are based on the truth. We proved the world was round one day and christians still professed it was flat. Read about it. The smartest "claimed" people on this earth do not believe in god. Read about them. These smart people were toss from their church because they had "ideas" that didn't work with the church's belief. Read about them. They invented the airplane, helicopter, clocks and on and on... Even in the 20th century we had the inventors and those that discover medicine for us to live better lives but they were kick from the church...read about them... So, all of us that do not believe in god should not give away our inventions and discoveries to you since you don't believe in us, is that right? Without non-believers your christian life you be miserable and plagued by disease.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • hophead

      DT74 because it was on the CNN main page.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:48 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      BOOM! DT74 got shut down! Ha!

      PS – it's perfectly OK (even preferable) to say that you DON'T KNOW, considering that it's the TRUTH.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:04 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.