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. A Christian and proud of it.

    It seems that a lot of you have completely missed the point of this article. For those of you who blame God for the disasters in this world, keep in mind that God gave satan authority over the earth and God gave man "free will" to decide which way to go. Follow the world (satan) or follow God. The bible gives a clear way to live. It has all the answers to life. The fact that Charlie is going through these heartaches he is definately enduring, is his choice. It's a cry for help. Anything positive for him right now is the road he needs to take. We should all be praying for him to overcome these chains that bind him. Just remember when you "wish" him luck, you are actually saying a prayer. I thought the letter written to Charlie was beautifully written. I will continue to pray for Charlie and also for all the people of the "world" who find this article or God offensive.

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

      Amen to that! 🙂

      March 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      The "open letter", as sweet and constructive as it was, may as well have been written to the Easter Bunny. Charlie Sheen has been exhibiting significant neurological damage over the last several weeks. His problems aren't spiritual. They're pathological. On top of that, he's currently going through the same hyper-manic phase that many addicts go through, where they appear to be high even though they're off drugs. When Sheen crashes, as he inevitably will, he will go back onto drugs to regain that high. That's how it works. And it will be at that point that he will be the greatest danger to himself. Sheen doesn't have the control or the focus required to even understand Feinberg's letter. As far as he's concerned right now, he's just fine. More than that, he thinks he's in better shape than anybody else. It's delusional paranoia. Letters like Feinberg's may as well be written in Aramaic.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • WASP

      Oh!!! WHERE is the "like" button?!

      March 25, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Judge Not.

      It's funny that you claim to know what "phase" of addiction CS is "in". I think it's downright scary that you presume to know what "shape" he is in, better than he does! How did you get to be so wise and superior? Does the FSM talk to you, too?

      From what I can tell he's not addicted to anything, except being CS. You nambypambys really should just live and let live.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:20 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Blaming a diety for the goings-on in the world is like blaming Santa for the crappy sweater you got for xmas when you really wanted a football.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:50 pm |
  2. John

    Sorry to say your words of wisdom will fall on deaf ears with Sheen. He is a sorry sole who wants bodies around him and not intellectual human beings. He wants people to admire his rants without challenging his reasoning behind them. For Charlie Sheen to change, he will have to decide too by himself. Because he has nobody to do this for him.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:58 pm |
  3. copanut

    Why would you go on a belief message board and post how God is not real. Does this make you feel good?
    I don't speak for the original poster, but I will say this. If I am reading the home page of CNN, I expect to see news. If I click on a link and it takes me to a "Belief" page, I have every right to make a posting about it. It is basically a religious hijacking of a news site. I would not seek out a belief message board merely to agitate the delusional, but if I get forced into it by CNN failing to identify the link as going to a mass delusion page, then I may well spend a minute commenting there about how silly it all is. If you don't like that, then maybe you want to ask CNN to not disguise religious dogma on their home page links.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:57 pm |
  4. The King

    Charlie has watched Paris Hilton, Britney Spears, and Sarah Palin turn nonsensical shenanaghins into mountains of cash. He's following in their footsteps. Note how he obtained sponsors for his online "show", selling T-shirts, and is going on a sold out "talking tour". Sound familiar? He's smart enough to know that the US citizenry is obtuse, shallow, and gullible. He's going to take some money off of them. I myself, have made millions off the idiots in the US, theres plenty for everyone.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  5. MrOpinionator

    Lady, you make me laugh. No really. Franklin Graham knows a thing or two about booze and babes? Only that he couldn't handle either... please don't come shoving your morality down other people's throats. Evangelicals are the most dangerous Christians out there. I actively oppose you and people like you and hope someday knowledge makes religion obsolete and extinct.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • WASP

      Wow, talk about closed mindedness...

      March 25, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • LadyMac


      Lady, you make me laugh. No really. Franklin Graham knows a thing or two about booze and babes? Only that he couldn't handle either... please don't come shoving your morality down other people's throats. Evangelicals are the most dangerous Christians out there. I actively oppose you and people like you and hope someday knowledge makes religion obsolete and extinct.

      Hi Mr. Opinionator I just wanted to respond to your comment. I am a Christian and an evangelical and I am wondering what I have done personally to make you oppose me and call me 'dangerous'? I would really like to hear what informs your opinion about evangelicals.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      I don't presume to know MrOpinionator's opinion on the matter – but the thing that bothers me about Evangelicals is the Zealotous nature of their ramblings.

      I once saw a cartoon that really resonated with me. It shows a man, recently deceased, walking into the pearly gates. St. Peter welcomes him in and then directs his attention to a sign posted at the gate. The sign read: "WELCOME TO HEAVEN, PLEASE KEEP YOUR RELIGION TO YOURSELF"

      March 25, 2011 at 5:33 pm |
  6. gene

    pprof, lighten up, Dude! Margaret Feinberg is a calm voice of reason in an otherwise out of control journey moving at lightspeed in a downward trejectory that is the life of Charlie Sheen! She speaks with a course correcting reason that would be embraced by most spiritual people. I don't know if Margaret is Jewish, Christian, Buddist, or what ever. What she speaks is the truth. I've found in my life that many times the right thing to do comes in a still small voice that strikes true to your heart if you'll take a moment to listen. Earth to Charlie, listen up, dude! Reality is trying reach you. You may not get another call!

    March 25, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
    • WASP

      Thank you, Gene!

      March 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      You have no idea what is going on in the life of this man. Just because you see him on the teevee and plastic talking robots say so, it does not mean anything. Sensationalism gets ratings! Watch "I'm Still Here" and you will see how the media falls all over themselves like keystone cops just to trash this dude who is playing them like a fiddle! I wonder if this woman "reached out" to Joaquin with her dumb advice.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  7. Ken

    "Love Wins" you recommend? Your lack of intelligence has just been revealed. Only a person with IQ of 1 would recommend such a book. Try the Bible.

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

      Try the Gita – now THERE's a cohesive and helpful tome!

      March 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  8. sockpuppet

    everyone is so annoyed that she wrote this letter, giving her opinion, when you all are on here giving yours. Big deal–she didn't say anything outrageous. She isn't cynical or nasty like most of you, either.

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

      I agree.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • WASP

      I'm pretty sure that right now, I'm your biggest fan, Sockpuppet!

      March 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Actually, I consider self righteous lecturing of a person that you do not know is cynical and nasty. She jumps to many conclusions, as many has – but she makes the assumption that CS is acting irrational and selfishly to the point of being a negligent father. Say what you will, but THAT is textbook cynicism. Also, say what you will – but you have NO idea what kind of father this man is, and any judgement you make about him is based on your own ASSUMPTIONS (we all know what happens when one assumes). Until you spend a few years getting to know him, spend time with his family, have some deep conversations – stop assuming the worst! Sheesh!

      1. She was paid for this article. Were you paid for your opinion?
      2. She is advertising for a hack author who is "contraversial" only to fundamentalists.
      3. Does she walk around spouting off advice to everyone all day long, or does she have special feelings for CS, or is she writing on a sensational subject in order to get many comments so that she will get more articles and, therefore, more money?

      March 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  9. Carole

    Well said Margret!

    March 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  10. John

    human – huwoman
    mankind – womankind

    i am bored . . . .

    March 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
  11. Paul


    March 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  12. MaryDean

    I really, really liked these words, "it’s never too late to turn things around and inspire us all with goodness rather than just another implosion.", as well as the reminder that his children need him. In fact, I would imagine his children would be the most inspired of all.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  13. Fond_Phantom

    Here's an idea for the "Evangelical" – why don't you find someone in your community who actually NEEDS your help, and help them? I mean, I understand it won't get you in the "news" (ha), but maybe you could go hand out "Love Wins" to the homeless – they can make book soup! 🙂

    March 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  14. Freeloader

    So this lady takes the opportunity to make cash off Charlies troubles and I'm supposed to read this without holding my nose? Get a life, no one cares what you think about Charlie period. Get over yourself, to believe that you are in a position to offer such "advice" is asinine get a life and quit trying to use someone elses celebrity to find ways to sound witty. Lady get a job, a new one. If it made sense to spend you time writing this babble, then you need a new job. You are a real piece of work, self righteous beast. Charlie is pretty sad, but the people jumping on for the free ride are twice as disgusting.

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

      ...and yet...you read it...knowing what it was going to be. Yes you did. You knew. Because it's in the description of the article. So you came here to judge, but are on the author for judging...hmmm...methinks I smell a hypocrite...

      March 25, 2011 at 4:10 pm |
    • Freeloader

      Hey WASP, how did I "read it knowing what it would be"? I had no idea who this crazy lady was until I clicked on the article. I dont follow the self righteous crowd bud, they are poison. Just because she has chosen to believe shes dirt without the invisible god to forgive her doesnt mean the rest of us want to live under this self imposed guilt prison. ANYONE who would recommend Franklin Graham as a guy to talk to is beyond help, hes the biggest dirtbag ever, everytime there is an earth quake or flood, hes the first to say its god punishing people, hes dumb as a rock. Seriously whose more crazy here the lady or Carlos Estevez? WASP feel free to not respond, I know your wacked already........

      March 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  15. JJ

    No Christian is qualified to judge on an eternal level. I can tell you what I believe and what the Bible says, but I can't do the judging. That is far beyond my pay-scale.

    Non-Christians do not be so offended by people who tell you how to live your life. That is your call. Be an adult, make your decisions, but be sure that you will be judged by Someone someday. We all will.

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

      hmm, you had me all the way until the part we'll be judged by Someone someday. Ummm, probably not. But we will be judged by those whose lives we touch right now. That's the part to be concerned with.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
    • JB

      Hey JJ- f Uc k off. And don't be offended when other people tell you to f Uc k off. Be an adult. We will all be told to f Uc k off one day by someone.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • JJ

      I guess I am saying everyone, including Christians, need be a little cooler to each other and take peoples opinions a little more lightly. Don't sweat it just becuase people disagree with you lifestyle or beliefs and leave the judging to a higher power (or no one).

      March 25, 2011 at 4:58 pm |
    • JJ

      JB, I'm not. I don't even know who you are.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  16. Kip

    Everyone is so quick to judge Charlie and give their advice. I want Charlie to be Charlie, I would love to live a week in his shoes to really understand his prospective. He may be more right and honest then all of you yahoo's. He is not crashing and burning he is just living his life.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      If Charlie continues to be Charlie, he'll be dead within the year.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:02 pm |
  17. feldspar

    What is so interesting about this hipster wannabe? If the dude wants to take the primrose path to hall, that's called free will.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
  18. feldspar

    Ah what the hell...what is so interesting about this hipster wannabe? If the dude wants to take the primrose path to hell, that's called free will. Whitney, Lindsay, Winehouse, Gibson, ad nauseum. >> yawn <<

    March 25, 2011 at 3:45 pm |
  19. Fond_Phantom

    The Flying Spaghetti Monster just told me that in the coming days there will be war and famine. HE also mentioned that Santa Claus is considering retirement and that either the Easter Bunny will pick up the shift, or possibly the Lucky Charms Leprechan. And there will be earthquakes. And Tornados, And hurricanes. If any of these come to pass, you must accept them as proof that the Flying Spaghetti Monster is the one true ruler of all and I am his prophet. There is no other option.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • Doug

      Easter Bunny ain't helping nobody, that Leprechan is too busy buggering him just like Christians due to the rest of us.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:50 pm |
    • Humble Servant

      Thou Shall OBEY

      March 25, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Yes... OBEY the FSM (he says that it's ok to abreviate – part of the new covenant).

      March 25, 2011 at 4:09 pm |
  20. Justin

    The best part of this is everyone who thinks they know what will help him. No one will be able to help him but himself. It hasn't been such a ride that the media makes it out to be. No one knows the real scope of any of this outside of the people who are affected by it every day. While we want to make sure he takes this head on, all we can do is watch. No amount of praying or religious terms pointing out to him will help him. Acceptance of what is happening is all it will take, and while it may seem like he's just blowing this all off, it really isn't happening that way.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:43 pm |
    • michael

      Very good points. As someone who has been down the addiction road I will have to agree with Justin 100%

      March 25, 2011 at 4:04 pm |
    • Concerned About Charlie too

      You have written nothing but the truth Charlie Sheen needing to accept his condition before he will change.\
      But I know and can testify that the prayers of a righteous person avails much. Prayer does work.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
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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.