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. Max

    It's fun to watch Charlie and its fun to read your crazy stories and comments. Trying to CHANGE any of it just silly. It's like TALKING to the TV. Only crazy people do it.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  2. bill

    Graham? why would Charlie or any one would want to be involved him. Some how, [ experts ] have all the answers about people behaving different than the acceptable behaviour. Charlie is not crazy, he just does what he thing are good times.
    Some men mature at twenty and some in sixties, some mid forties. Charlie is almost there. In the mean time he is making money by all the hoopla, when that stops he might wake up.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm |
  3. ER

    I liked this lady better when she was playing Anna on V.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  4. truthinrock

    Now a complete NOBODY with a Twitter following, talking head, is getting CNN space. I guess anyone can get CNN to publish their personal views.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
  5. bclone

    I love how these new christians go out of there way not to mention christianity and god. They still love to chime in though! Some things never change with evangelicals. Trying to "suggest" to somebody in crisis, god is the answer. Ughh! I have little doubt this smiling (and kinda creepy) lady has a sordid past of her own that she's so conveniently replaced with sun shiny, faith and good vibe nonsense!

    March 25, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • pothead

      And the high school cheerleader bangs the team, continuously after the prom. Sound like someone that wants to run for president. Charlie has the right to do what he wants and so do I. But these god fearing idiots (like bushdog) are destroying our world with their push for a "onepartyworld.com" thing.

      This maggie creep is in pain. I have just the thing for pain and it is proven to work...god isn't prove to do anything for anyone other than the minister's pocket book and his zipper...bang the minister and your are forgiven, bang the little boys and your are forgiven, but don't believe in god and you go to hell! How wonderful it must be to be a good god fearing christian and get away with "everything".

      March 25, 2011 at 5:38 pm |
  6. AncientSoul

    Well said ... the other thing I would mention is perhaps the fact that as long as folks are riding the wave with him, of course they're going to be his best friends ... his 'yes men' ... but I wonder if he stopped all the bells and whistles with them, if they'd be around as much with smiles as they are now ? Time to see where your bread is REALLY buttered Charlie boy! Eternity is a L O N G time to consider how EASILY you could have REALLY HAD IT ALL!

    March 25, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
  7. Alan

    Everyone slows down at the train wreck or to see the crumpled wreckage on the highway....

    March 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
  8. DD

    No. 5: Ma'am, GO the eff away. Who in H are you to tell anyone what to do!

    March 25, 2011 at 4:37 pm |
    • trish

      who are you to judge her for trying to give someone helpful advice..she isn't telling him what to do...she is trying to make him see what he is missing...not necessarily religion...She isn't being preachy...she isn't telling him he is going to hell...she is saying..."hey charlie, you need some help....,and here are some ways I think you can get it"....thank God for the people who have stepped up in my life when I was going down a bad path and gave me another perspective to think about....maybe you should do the same

      March 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • pothead

      Bush destroyed this county and she didn't write him a letter. Go read about her comments about the "bushdog". It's seems to be okay to kill the innocent, but don't let anyone disagree with you about Peter Pan and the Easter Bunny.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:31 pm |


    March 25, 2011 at 4:35 pm |
  10. Jeff

    Everyone should just ignore Charlie. The man needs help. I am tired of his antics. His kids have more mature than he is.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
    • mantaec

      Duh...huh? What you said was so dumb I have forgotten how I was going to reply! Must be the bowl of influence I'm under. Smoke a little pot and you too will find the truth. Really, if you smoke a bowl with me, you might find your god sitting next to you!

      March 25, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
  11. Juju

    *SNORE* ZZZZZZZzzzzzz...

    March 25, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  12. Marcel

    Isn't he doing the best for his kids' future by maintaining his fame and making as much money off of it as he can? Who cares what his kids find when they google him? Evangelicals are always good for telling others what they should and shouldn't do. Margaret don't you think you're only helping build his cult by publishing this article (and maybe bringing a little more fame your own way by writing about a pop culture icon)?

    March 25, 2011 at 4:30 pm |
    • trish

      wow...you think that his kids want MONEY???? unbelievable. I hope you don't have kids....and until you get some perspective on life, I hope you never do. Kids don't care about money, they care about their parents being there for them. they care that their parents aren't wasted all the time and spend time with them. This family would be better off living in a trailer park on food stamps with a sober loving father than rich with a crazy father...I will never understand how people don't see that.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • pothead

      #trish... Are you for real? You say kids to not care about money. That statement is too broad, broad. Very few kids can live without money. The need iPods to compete in school. That's a fact! iPods help kids in school more then the average parent. Read about iPods and why!

      Kids don't want to live in trailer parks in a tin box. They want a nice joint to live in just like I do and just like Mexicans do and the poor do citizens of this crazy US.

      Hope you don't have kids! The poorest kids have the most problems. Money Changes Everything! We give our love to kids and wish them a good education. But education does cost money and they know it.

      One of the biggest problems we have in this country and among other countries is birth control and lack of a woman's rights to abortion.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  13. Rad Centrist

    We live in a society where there is no room for respect, there is no room for different opinions, we all have the right answers, right? I don't care who this lady is, or what religion she professes, the fact is that from a human behavior, Charlie needs to get some perspective. Who believes Sheen is a rock star? who believes in doing what he is doing? or gather your family around the tv and tell your kids, this guys got his stuff together, you should learn from him. We all know it's a matter of time before he crashes and burns, the guy needs perspective, period.

    Regarding this article, I don't agree with everything she writes about, but she got some good points. A human being can learn from others experiences, I'm not sure Charlie is ready for it though. As per religion and Bible negative comments in this forum, most come from a ignorant main stream limited perspective. You should not share your opinion if you are an ignorant about a subject, you sound like an idiot. And that brings me back to my first point if you remember and are capable of using the brain that God gave you.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • pothead

      Okay smartie! Tell me again how god gave me my brain and tell me the story of the Wizard of OZ... You did well at contradicting yourself, which is what good god fearing christians have a habit of.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Wouldn't you say that your perspective is somewhat limited? Of course, you know exactly what it's like to be Charlie Sheen, but how much perspective can one man have? Don't answer – ONE – we only have one perspective, our own. We can empathize with the problems of others, but only because we are mentally placing our selves in the position. I could make so many assumptions based only on your post, yet I don't. I don't think you're an idiot. I don't think your religion is evil. I'm sure your a great person with a good head on your shoulders. I always default to this position, that way when you babble crazy stuff – I can just give you the bennefit of the doubt, which is what we should all do for ol' Charlie.

      As I said earlier, we don't have to KNOW everything. It actually shows one to be wise when they refuse to jump to conclusions over tabloid drivel.

      March 25, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  14. slipheart

    The pretty face of Charlie Sheen is human, not a punching bag for christians. Leave him alone. You all say you don't like him and he is different but you still read about him and post here. Apparently you just come here to post your propaganda about you religious beliefs.

    If you good christians would spend more time in your church and protecting your children you wouldn't have time to post your trash.

    Why do the "best" of christians always bother people? Do you honestly think it does any good at all to come here and tell us we are going to go to your hell if we don't believe you?

    When your god comes to visit with jc, tell them to bring ice and beer and a hoggie, I'm tired of Burger King for breakfast.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • OMG

      You sound like someone who is bitter about life. Your attacks are unfounded. It is a terrible when the person who tries to help another is pushed away just because they don't agree with your ideology. I might not agree with everything this lady states, but she sure does have the rights to say what she is thinking. All I know is the tracks this man is on will eventually lead him to ruin

      March 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • pothead

      Charlie is King and Queens bow to god...I read that somewhere. Hey #OMG...did you know that OMG is not in the dictionary? If you read more then your bible you will find out.

      #OMG...read the sign at the top of the page. It says "guaranteed results". You good god fear christians must be praying for the wrong thing.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • jusWonderin

      What's a hoggie??

      March 25, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • JWill

      I'm pretty sure that the opinion pieces on CNN are from all different point of views and beliefs. So really what you should be whining about is the innate human desire to tell someone else what to do. It's not just christians so stop singling them out.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • Thomas

      Where to begin....

      I'm no Christian myself, but I have to ask – where in this letter did she tell Charlie to embrace Christianity? She may have mentioned Franklin Graham, but only insomuch as he has had his own battles with substance abuse and is willing to help. She's absolutely correct when she says that an addict who surrounds themselves with "Yes men" is doomed to go down the same road as Chris Farley, John Belushi and Anna Nicole Smith. If he keeps going the way he is, Charlie Sheen will be dead within a year or two. She's trying to keep that from happening. How is that a bad thing?

      March 25, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      First off, we need to dispel this idea that the author is trying to help Charlie Sheen. She has no reason to believe that Charlie will ever read the article. She is writing this article because the subject is popular, and her status allows her to write BS like this. She is manipulating your emotions, trying to sell books for Rob, AND making herself feel superior!


      March 25, 2011 at 5:23 pm |
  15. Katmoondaddy

    Y'know his Uncle Bishop Fulton Sheen was more interesting than Charlie. HE had Jesus Blood and Mary DNA!

    March 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
  16. Mike

    Sheen's a genius. Remember: Time Warner signed him for more money after his Aspen incident was well known, and all controversial remarks by Sheen have only increased his viewership. Overall, CBS was in no way damaged by Charlie's behaviour – as evidenced by his number one show status in spite of (and largely because of) his media histrionics.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm |
    • mycatsbreathsmellslikecatfood

      true. plus his show also draws in the crowd for cbs's other garbage like the big bang theory.

      without 2.5 men and sheen, CBS's other shows would be even more of a failure.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  17. Bruce

    Margaret, those were terrrific words of wisdom. BUT, it's Charlie Sheen! His diluted senses have put him in a world of his own and he'd never admit he's wrong, even with your open letter to him.

    He and Lindsay Lohan should just go live in a cave somewhere and leave the rest of the world alone.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:27 pm |
  18. Mark McKee

    Dear Creepy Evangelical Lady with the Rosemary's Baby haircut. Please carry your own water, and maybe worry about what your kids will think when they do a search on your androgenous character a few years from now. I'm sure Charlie knows something about this that would be helpful to you. The kids will be more interested in your bank balance than your behavior, which is as it should be, in the devine... jeez, Charile really can draw out the freaks from the woodwork, huh? Lady, go sell crazy somewhere else.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
    • OMG


      You really don't get it do you? Someone throws a life safer and you steal it like some selfish brat taking candy from the blind. Common sense suggests when you see someone drowning it isn't a spectator sport.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • pothead

      Charlie is King! And Queens bow to god.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
    • Jimmy

      ..and to think you had to briefly read this just so you could get to where you can leave a reply. I enjoyed this, it's apparent that you already had your words ready to unload. I thiink you missed what this article was about. If you didn't want to read it, you didn't have too.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
    • Ernest

      Mark, you should join the club and take this lady's advices for yourself! you must be seriously damaged to write stuff like that and presume it is ok to do so. go look for help while there's still time. peace.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • trish

      seriously? you think this lady is crazy compared to charlie sheen? you don't see how what she says has some value? our generation is doomed!!! I'm sure her kids are just fine...yours on the other hand, with your kind of mentality...I am terrified for.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:46 pm |
    • Bob Weadababy etsaboy

      Lmao!!!!! Your the one selling crazy. More interested in your bank account? Really? We see what type of person you are. Charlie Sheen is wacked out right now. He needs to come to his senses. From your comment, you seem like a bitter person rooting for his downfall because you don't have what he has. Tis sad my friend.....

      March 25, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
    • Raul Hernandez

      Mark, that is funny stuff.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
    • Island Tutu

      I have to agree. I have no idea who the Bell person is, but Franklin Graham is downright scary. I think the LAST thing Charlie Sheen needs is a bunch of right wing Christian fundalmentalists. A shrink probably yes. But he may be having ENOUGH trouble with reality – why bring religion into it???

      March 25, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      It's amazing how many people on here know CS so well! Surely you are all close frinds with CS to be able to know such things! Surely you aren't making asenine assumptions based on tabloid media! Of course you aren't – you're Charlie's caring friends! I'm sure that a couple of years ago you were all Brittney's close personal friends.

      Mark I agree with you wholeheartedly. Freaks.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:16 pm |
  19. Curt McLawhorn

    Here's a thought for all those who seem to be seeking attention. Why not do it in a way that is POSITIVE? I guess I'll never understand when someone has the power to TOTALLY change someone's life in a positive way, yet fails to do so on regular occasions. So many people have so much power available to them to positively change someone's life forever, but regularly fail or refuse to do so. What an awesome opportunity to have.....and pass up on.

    March 25, 2011 at 4:26 pm |
  20. TigersBlood

    Given her last name I would have thought she would recommend a Rabi.

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

      How sad.one delusional person giving advice to another one. Margaret, what do you think about human sacrifice and the incas? Do you realize that christianity is based on the exact same thing. Someone has to die to please the gods......come on margaret.....lets move forward in this world.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:44 pm |
    • Asperigas

      Charlie needs to find JESUS ! Why everybody bash him nohow? Great actor but many many troubles (women, drugs, booze). So much sin in world now today with everyone fornicating publicly on tv screens across America the States United. Please help Charlie!??? JESUS is great person, much help. Thank you for your attention.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
    • Wonder Woman

      I could NOT believe the first comment referred to a particular religion. What does it matter if the people we need in our lives, to get us thru, are rabbis or priests, our kids, or an angel on earth who appears in your life just when you have given up all hope of humanity in the world?
      It's inappropriate to make a comment that I consider not only irrelevant but almost antisemetic.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:02 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.