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. Curleyg

    This article is nothing more than a cheap ad for Rob Bell's new book. Which just happens to be releasing next week. CNN jumped right on it.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  2. VanHalen

    I think Charlie should start a band with Eddie VanHalen ... LOL

    March 25, 2011 at 4:22 pm |
  3. lance corporal

    evangelicals are the looney toones of the loony bin and have no place giving ANY one advice, that said charlie's crash and burn is BY FAR more entertaining than any role he has ever played so what the helllll crash as big and bold as you like charlie yours has been a silly life of privilege to date with your personal enjoyment your only goal, no big loss to the world if your not in it, so go for it, keep.....winnning.... I feel blessed every time I hear about your BS

    March 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  4. Mark

    I guess someone just wants her 15 minutes of fame, or was upset that her fan letter got lost among the thousands of fan letters Charlie Sheen gets every week.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  5. Ned

    Shut up lady.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  6. Jeffery Smith

    People tried to save Mike Tyson from himself, to no avail. He made humdreds of millions of dollars, squandered it all, and wound up millions in debt. This is not a new story. Winning? I wonder how long a list we could make of people who seemed to have it all and lost it all and more through hubris.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  7. MrOpinionator


    Are you kidding? You chose a handle which, if you Google it, brings up p o r n... immediately. I sincerely doubt that's a coincidence. Snap yourself out of your deluded fantasy before its too late... and leave Charlie Sheen alone.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  8. armymom16

    It is the authors presumption that Charlie is capable of reason right now, but if he really were reasonable there would be no need toTRY and reason with him, he would be capable of doing it himself. He would seek help. He doesn't understand rational thinking which is why he keeps trying to draw everyone into his way of seeing things...irrational. He is suffering delusions, he is in another world...out of touch, so why does anyone think they can say anything that would matter to him. What he needs is not to have people joining him, but people who will just silently walk away and let him crash (except of course those nearest and dearest to him...his family) ...the sooner the better.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      You must be very close with Mr. Sheen to have such knowledge of his rationality, either that or you're just making wild assumptions from watching a couple of hilarious interviews on the teevee.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  9. tomfenske@comcast.net

    What she said minus the religious crap. Religion is all about controlling and pilfering !

    March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
  10. George

    The only thing nuttier than Charlie Sheen is an Evangelical.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Jeff

      ^ This, this is good. ^

      March 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  11. floridasweet61

    What a loser you r.................You think ur sh** don't sink.................I dont like you or your show........Had to give my opinion from Florida.........No, we don't want you back.............and ur a lousy father.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:11 pm |
  12. M

    Margaret, you're wasting time. He hasn't hit rock bottom, so nothing you say will matter, even his kids .The media might help put this to rest if they'd stop giving him time on the air–that's part of the fuel that flames his fire; however, ratings and sales mean more than substance, so that's a losing argument as well. The guy doesn't care what anyone thinks because he himself isn't well to undersand it. What a sad excuse for a human being–frankly, I don't want him back, so you can have him.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
  13. mrock

    its society, tweets, facebook, to include these lame posts (even mine) that enables people like Charlie to go on like this....honestly, its not Charlie that needs help, its everyone else....WHO CARES ABOUT CHARLIE SHEEN OR ANY OTHER HOLLYWOOD STAR....REALLY PEOPLE? REALLY? ALL WE ARE DOING IS FUELING THE FIRE!

    March 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • ALM

      you must care... you read the article.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  14. Humble Servant

    Why does everybody have to be clean, sober and religious? Why can't Charlie be a drunk, womanizing multi-millionaire? I don't understand this quest to "clean him up".

    March 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • AppleMaude

      The quest to clean him up is so that he doesn't die of drug overdose tomorrow and millions of his fans lose the chance to see him again on two and a half men.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • SometimesElla

      Maybe so he stops beating up women?

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

      Agree 100%. Lives, dies, cleans up, doesn't clean up...does not and should not have any effect on the 99.99999% of us who do not know him personally. His purpose on this earth is to entertain us. When was the last time you slowed down in traffic to watch the other lanes without accidents...never. We love to look at accidents and the worse they are the more we slow down to take a peek, and Charlie Sheen is a slow motion disaster that has everyone rubber necking.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:23 pm |
    • WASP

      1) So he doesn't become another statistic of people whose lives are claimed by addiction.
      2) So his children don't have to go through life without a father, either because he's dead or just wasted all the time.
      3) So he stops beating women and threatening their lives.
      4) So his parents/siblings/spouse can maybe live a peaceful existence without worrying about whether he'll be dead tomorrow.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
    • ThatOTHERdrunk

      This may sound funny but I agree to a point, I just think alot of folks and his real friends do not want him to die young. Womanize and drink and take on the world..but the drugs need to go he IS killing himself

      March 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Jeff

      Too bad Two and a Half Men is horrible. I would much rather have the entire existence of that show erased from human memory then loose Charlie Sheen in the apex of his life.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Humble Servant

      ... how about you keep the chicks away from him? LOL

      I don't endorse what he did or does ... but his behavior has not changed in years. Why is eveybody surprised? You skydive, you take your chances, you date, marry or employ Charlie Sheen ... same deal.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • Humble Servant

      WASP – Don't you think he already knows that?

      People can decide to live a life of crime or not ... their consequences to both.
      I think he made a choice and YOU guys can't live with that.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  15. Sarah

    I think people read to much into this, I think all this author was trying to say was "stop thinking youre some kind of rock star and get your ass back down to earth!"

    March 25, 2011 at 4:06 pm |
    • WASP

      Pretty much, yeah. I mean, what sane person says, "I have tiger blood and Adonis DNA"?? Really?

      March 25, 2011 at 4:21 pm |
  16. oldie but goodie

    Beautifully written. Thank you. I hope you touched his heart...you did mine.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  17. vechron

    Charlie Sheen = Winning.
    I love the idea that some very nice woman out there is taking the time to write a little letter to Charlie... it's cute; In a naive sort of way. I think I can clarify some things though that really need to be understood about Mr. Sheens life before we put him off on the crazy boat and shove him from the dock.
    1) Charlie Sheen has a level of wealth that most if not ALL people reading this, cannot comprehend. It cannot be understood by you or I, that is just a fact... and I have an AWESOME imagination. I mean, I can contemplate moments of what I would do with that sort of cash but trying to figure out how I would spend a day, week, month or year in that sort of encased wealth...? No, I can't even comprehend; I know, I know, you think you know what you'd do... but buying an island and a mansion on it is only entertaining for a week... till you need a diversion from the monotony. You sit on the beach for a week or two and then what? Alright, you collect shells from your shore and they are pretty but for what? A month? Eventually I come to check on you in your solitary reality and your crazier than Howard Hughes... which is certainly no better than Charlie who at least has company! So again, his wealth affords him excesses that me or you probably cannot comprehend.
    2) Most famous man on television. His fame is colossal; you and I are incapable of truly understanding how it FEELS to be that famous. He is comped meals, places to stay, clothes and gambling bills ANYWHERE he goes, while if you and I go into Applebee's and come up short five bucks, they're calling the police on us. His fame is undeniable and a massive stepping stone for him in life.

    Now where do these two points leave us? It leaves us with a small breakdown of a day in the life of Charlie Sheen.
    6am – 7am: Wake up(the bed he lays on is his alarm clock; most likely vibrates to wake him at a preset time, gently).
    7am – 8am: Looks to either side of him and decides which woman to have relations with first(Most likely one is a morning girl and the other is a night girl).
    8am – 9am: Works out, washes up and dresses in his clothes that have been selected for him by his assistant.
    9am – 6pm: Look through scripts, watch TV, play with kids, have relations with either of the women or his wife who has come back to the fold, talk to accountant about cashing residual checks for Platoon, Hot Shots movie series, Wall Street, the Major League series, Red Dawn, Lucas, Young Guns, Navy Seals, Men at Work, The Three Musketeers, Cadence, The Chase... etc, etc...
    6pm: Tuck Kids in and party ANY WAY YOU WANT UNTIL YOU PASS OUT.
    Rinse and repeat.
    THAT is his reality.... and what is reality but subjective? I experience a day differently from every other person in the world just as you do. My struggles are not yours and likewise; they might be similar in some ways but they are different. Then there's Sheen's reality, which few can truly comprehend. Is he so horrible for dealing with it the way he does? Who's fault is it really? It seems to me it would be more difficult denying the excesses and pretending that great things don't happen to you all the time if I was him! You want him to change so much? STOP WATCHING HIS CRAPPY SHOW! Don't watch his news specials! Don't buy the T-shirts! DON'T TALK ABOUT HIM! YOU are building him up to act as crazy as he wants and the only difference between me and you is that I'm psyched for the show while you hide behind a sham of concern!
    Charlie is winning, mark my words.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
    • bob

      He's bankrupt you idiot.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:12 pm |
    • Humble Servant

      You forgot to mention that from time to time, his staff gently takes him to a Hollywood studio (does have to drive himself or if he does he can pick one of many Ferraris, Mercedes, BMWs, Hummers, Limo, etc he might be in the mood for). Once he arrives he is washed, pampered, fed (best food in town) and dress in comfy shoes, shorts and a bawling shirt … then he has recite a few lines with a decent amount of conviction, maybe do it a couple of different ways if requested. Then, gets back into his clothes, go home and collect $2,000,000.00.

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

      you completely missed the point. I was really just.. get your sh** together and stop F-ing up.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
    • Charlie

      You have way too much time on your hands...(no pun intended)... The schedule you typed out sounds like something from your wet dream. Why are you on here telling people how he lives?...even as so to make a daily schedule? lol

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

      He's been arrested upwards of five times for beating up women. That's winning to you? I hope you don't have daughters.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • Bob, you are the idiot

      1- He is not banckrupt ...
      2- If he was, all he has to do is write a bio-book, do a bunch of paid interviews, etc

      Charlie as tons of $$ options right now ... in fact he is milkin' it right now: T-Shirts, a Tour (noone even knows what he is doing on it, sing? Shakespear? who cares it's soldout), etc ... he can cameo on anything right now for tons of $$ , TV sitcom, movie, etc

      March 25, 2011 at 4:19 pm |
    • shay

      Well i guess you most not be winning since you have time to rant about this article. Charilie gets paid, Writer gets paid, i am getting paid right now and you just wasting your time – NOT WINNING

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

      Hear, hear.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:39 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      BTW – the "hear, hear" was to the OP, not the gaggle of bumbling doofuses.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • vechron

      "He's bankrupt you idiot." – Someones a moron who doesn't understand what "residuals" are...

      "Why are you on here telling people how he lives?" – Because that is his reality, not yours or mine. What everyone wants to say to him is "start acting normal" and not only does he not want to... but he doesn't have to. The point is he doesn't have to act like me or you... because he lives by a different set of rules... because people like you and I let him.

      "He's been arrested upwards of five times for beating up women. That's winning to you?" – You know what winning is? Being repeatedly arrested, shooting Kelly Preston in the arm and STILL middle America can't get enough of you! Let me get this straight; I can do WHATEVER I WANT, get paid millions of dollars, act like an ass and STILL the public love me? Yeah, that is winning; maybe not morally but at the end of the day, he comes out winning.

      His exwife dropped the restraining order, blew her chances of solitary custody and if that wasn't enough... SHE moved back in with him... and his two girlfriends... with the kids. Lawyers have been going over the contract he signed and guess what? No Moral clauses... and if there were, they blew any option of acting on them as they didn't take any action against him months ago when he first started to act up. The latest word rolling around is that a high up exec wants the show he was on BACK ON AIR.... WITH HIM BACK ON IT! Kiefer Sutherland was asked about Charlie and his exact words were, "Charlie is going to come out of this smelling like roses". Everyone see's it, he's passing drug tests, charges are getting dropped and the network WILL pay him for lost wages if they don't get that show back on air, most likely having to his pay to 3 million an episode as per his request.
      Don't get me wrong; from a moral standpoint, he's adrift but according to the rules we hold him to... he is winning.

      March 25, 2011 at 10:36 pm |
  18. eric

    It's time to play some baseball brother...let me know...

    March 25, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
  19. Doreen

    Wouldn't it be great if every Parent did all the right thngs, just for the KIDS!...Yes it would make the world a much better place.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:01 pm |
  20. Erik-the-Red

    Thanks for the PM, Dian-in-Boston. I agree, they are all trolls and want to get the tiger blood directly out of my veins; but I doubt your husband/girlfriend would appreciate that.....where that stuff flows varies from day to day, so controlling just where it will be at any given time is not currently possible. However, there is an alternative. How about you set up a real cute meet somewhere on the Cape and we'll wine and dine and then I will go clamming, eat some dinner, then we'll call it a night and save that magical moment in the memory "box". What do you say?

    March 25, 2011 at 4:01 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.