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. Chitown Jason

    Who the heck is this person and why should Charlie or anyone else care what she thinks of his situation?

    March 25, 2011 at 6:18 pm |
    • Fabiola Ribeiro

      This is written for people who actually care.... the question is why do you read it if you "don't care" apparently. Just a thought.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
    • pothead

      CNN put this trash here because they have clients that advertise! Of course we don't pay much attention to their clients crap, but this is fun! It's like "happy hour" at a bar. Nothing anyone says means anything that will be remembered tomorrow! I hope!

      March 25, 2011 at 6:36 pm |
  2. Susan

    # 4 is the best advice given here. The only thing that probably matters to him really are his children who love him unconditionally. In order for them to know their father he has to be around. Hang in there Charlie and think of your kids. In the end of life what matters and what really counts are our children.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:15 pm |
    • Reality Check

      Yeah, when they're standing over your coffin next week they'll think ""What a great DAD ""

      March 25, 2011 at 6:30 pm |
  3. Bill Tyrrell

    SERENITY NOW!!!! 🙂

    March 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
  4. Lon

    Evangelical? Lady, you need to take advice – not give.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  5. supremeamerican

    A rational, logical and well written article. Better than any i can remember reading. But people attack it on CNN comments for one reason. She's a Christian. Maybe there's something to that Bible after all, it seems to make a LOT of people insecure.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  6. jb

    reality: actually the basic principle of human existence is survival.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  7. Bill Tyrrell

    I just don't understand all the slamming of religion, religious beliefs, etc. Religion, or lack thereof IS NOT THE UNDERLYING THEME of the letter people!!! Some pretty juvenile and nasty comments on religion or those that practice their religion.....GROW UP people.... BTW, I am not a Christian, Muslim, Buddahist, etc. etc. What I am, or what my spiritual beliefs are is irrelevant, but not as irrevelant as the juvenile religion-bashing by uneducated or unfeeling cretins..... I'm just sayin...

    March 25, 2011 at 5:59 pm |
    • Mikey

      Sure it is – the people she is saying he should turn to are all religious. Problem is, Charlie was brought up by two grounded devout Catholics. He knows religion and has chosen to move away. Do you really think he's going to talk to Franklin Graham and change back?? Samaritan's Purse does good – true enough. However, while they are distributing the gift boxes and other humanitarian aid, they are also trying to convert the children that receive the boxes. Can we not just help people without trying to make they follow our beliefs? Why must they change?

      March 25, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
    • supremeamerican

      Mikey, not a single person she's advising him to seek guidance from is religious. your bigotry is blatant.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:23 pm |
  8. wagonis

    Yup, THIS is the letter that will reach him, THIS is the letter that will be the turning point in his life, THIS will be the letter that will persuade him into sobriety and bring him to the realization of his bipolar disorder.

    He has addictions on top of a chemical imbalance, reading a letter will not fix that. The man needs help beyond words.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  9. Typical

    Leave it to a woman to try and ruin a man's fun 🙁

    March 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  10. BM

    Who cares, let him crash, he's an idiot anyways...his TV brother is what makes the show... dont you know that

    March 25, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  11. timmy

    Well said Margaret!! Your letter is filled with grace, kindness, and love – something Charlie and everyone else needs more of. Thank you!

    March 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
    • Fabiola Ribeiro

      Agreed 🙂

      March 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  12. Shiloh Reed

    Let this loser crash. He's treating people like garbage, let him be treated the same way. His fans need reality checks of their own. Time for them to get a life.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:54 pm |
  13. pothead

    Well said! I read that article too! But apparently the good god fearing christians didn't. Or maybe they did and that is why they are afraid. They are the minority.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:53 pm |
  14. Bill Tyrrell

    WOW Margaret!! Well said... I don't want to get involved with any differences of opinion, etc. on religion, that's everyone's personal business... However, I think the most salient point you make is for Charlie to separate himself from all the sycofants who care nothing about him, rather they have boarded his train for selfish/self-serving reasons. Reminds me of the same kind of people that surrounded Elvis and did nothing but "enable" his behaviour thereby accelerating his demise. Man, if only these people would realize that, if they want to get the most out of being a hanger-on, they could urge him as you have in your open letter... instead, they are torpedoing themselves and how long their gravy train will hold out!!!! I LOVE IRONY..... Especially poetically just irony.........

    March 25, 2011 at 5:51 pm |
    • Reality Check

      ,,, I think Mr. Sheen is an atheist, which is fine however , with an illness like his that is incurable, permanent, unmanageable, he must try a different approach and perhaps reach out to another human-being, , , ,

      March 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  15. Cheryl

    I don't understand. I don't much like Charlie Sheen ... but was he asking for this writer's advice?

    March 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Sue

      Cheryl, Are you blond? This is a blog.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
    • pothead

      Cheryl and Sue = "cat fight"... I wannaa watch! I bet on the redhead!

      March 25, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Fabiola Ribeiro

      He can either read it or ignore it, hopefully he chooses to read it though. This is a very powerful letter. Will be praying for you Charlie 🙂

      March 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  16. pothead

    If there is a god, why is my beer warm? As in god I wish I had a cold beer! It would sure bring the light to this article.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Loren

      Maybe God is British?

      It would explain a lot more than warm beer...

      March 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • pothead

      British or German! If he was German it would surly scare the hell out of christians.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:09 pm |
    • Charlie

      That's impossible, British people don't go to heaven.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • supremeamerican

      Warm beer is blasphemy on the highest order. You should cleanse yourself just for writing about it.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:11 pm |
    • pothead

      LOL...love it, the humor! I sit around and laugh all day. The posts are a great expression of what we like to see as 'a simple freedom'. We have the right to believe.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
  17. bobroad

    "A concerned evangelical's open letter to Charlie Sheen"

    yeah this is a guy taking a gamble, if sheen gets better and says this guy helped
    people will send him more money. SCAM ARTIST

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

      Margaret doesn't look much like a "guy" to me.

      You fail reading comprehension.

      March 25, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Dan

      Its a woman. Before being a critic, get hold of the details you choose to criticize. And this is coming from a non-religious agnostic. Dumbas

      March 25, 2011 at 8:23 pm |
  18. Colin Nelson

    Nope, incorrect. He's doing just fine.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:41 pm |
    • Reality Check

      he will die or end up in jail , he has an incurable illness that cannot be maintained by even the strongest of men ,,

      March 25, 2011 at 6:03 pm |
    • Reality Check


      March 25, 2011 at 6:08 pm |
    • aerie

      Reality sounds like the posterchild for Alcoholics Anon. I see you fell for their nonsense that the only 2 options are death or jail. Nonsense.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm |
  19. Reality Check

    <<< DEAD OR JAIL ,,,,, statistically speaking that is where people with addictions end the game period , And all the people '' worried '' about offending him while he is dying in front of us are soulless idiots ,,,,, GODSPEED

    March 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • Socks

      We all end up dead. So you're saying: Some drug addicts go to jail. Genius!

      March 25, 2011 at 5:50 pm |
    • dug

      wow that was profound dude...I am awwweed that someone paid attention in Biology and Just Say No

      March 25, 2011 at 6:10 pm |
    • pothead

      godspeed...if that was true I would do him! I like to go fast...I bet I can catch that dude or dudet in my 89 560SL

      March 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
  20. jj

    Holier than thou.

    March 25, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
    • timmy

      If the "thou" you are referring to in the "holier than thou" statement is Charlie Sheen – then you are absolutely right. The writer IS holier than Charlie Sheen. It doesn't take much effort for anyone to be holier than him. I think the very thing Charlie Sheen needs right now is a dose of holiness – hence the letter – which was very gracious and loving in my opinion ("opinion" being the operative word here). 🙂

      March 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • supremeamerican

      A Christian wrote a brilliant logical and reasonable piece. And these insecure children on CNN comments can not stand it.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:26 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.