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. timewilltell

    Charlie, please get help. You can get out of the hell you have created for yourself. Being sober for 17 years has taught me that. I like myself a whole lot better now then I did when I was a prisoner to alcohol. The good times don't last but the nightmare continues if you don't take control of your life. God made you and he loves you. Stay alive for your kids if nothing else.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
  2. pothead

    Here is your god http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2011/03/25/jesuits-pay-record-166-1-million-in-child-abuse-case/?hpt=T2

    March 25, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  3. supremeamerican

    Bottom line. A Christian wrote this article. It is a brilliant article. She does not mention her faith or push it on anyone. The hate comments are simply the signature of desperate insecure children. This article is full of reason and logic, get over it.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  4. tim

    Instead of Charlie "pulling up"...Martin should have "pulled out"

    March 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  5. Looney

    CNN, let it go. The story is over.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:01 pm |
  6. Jeff

    It's easy to judge someone else isn't it. Why not ask yourself why you feel the need to fix Charlie Sheen. I say if people would just be there for him and offer their love and friendship than he'll get through this. People think just because he's on T.V it's a something out of the ordinary, he just everybody else who just wants some love. Except Charlie is going to have to give it to himself.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:54 pm |
  7. PoodleSweat

    It's funny how people who believe in God always say "it's all a part of God's plan". Well if that is true then Charlie is part of God's plan. You just can't say that crap when it is convenient. So if it is true that everything happens for a reason then our actions are predetermined and therefore no reason to repent.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:53 pm |
  8. Miriam

    We are all waiting for Charlie's next step. I just hope it is a step asking for help, or this could end very, very bad.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:49 pm |
  9. Bastion of Truth

    I've always found it to be much simpler in life threatening situations, to take a deep breath, AND SAVE YOUR OWN ASS. when another man is firing an automatic weapon in your direction, you realize that "god" isnt gunna save you from a damn thing, most of all bullets. Only you can save yourself in a life threatening situation, by being smart, and not asking anyone but yourself to save you.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
    • bigmama

      Damn skippy!

      March 25, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  10. George

    Why does every pompous evangelical think they have the right to lecture everyone's morals and behavior from their pulpit?

    March 25, 2011 at 6:44 pm |
  11. Jeff

    Great advice, Ms. Feinberg.

    Each of us has a tendency to think that we are the center of the universe. Thankfully, someone else, someone infinitely greater and more loving than us, actually is the center.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:35 pm |
  12. dwg

    dude, seriously? the woman who wrote this obviously has her heart in the right place, but does feel-good preachiness really seem the best way to get anything across to this particular individual? more likely, this was as good a place as any for her to stump for her favorite authors, speakers and worldview. sorry, but: lame.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:34 pm |
  13. Are you kidding me?

    It takes someone who believes in God to believe that Charlie Sheen isn't just acting right now.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:33 pm |
  14. trixen

    She sounds wacko but she's definitely cute.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  15. e141

    Does anyone else see this as a publicity stunt? I pre-fabricated "meltdown"?

    March 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Reality Check

      ,,, I thought that too until he lost custody of his children ,,,,,,,,,,

      March 25, 2011 at 6:37 pm |
    • Jena

      Yes, it reminds me a little of the Joaquin Phoenix episode. But the mothers of his children would have to be in on it, so I dismissed it as a stunt. Next stop: Celebrity Rehab.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:59 pm |
  16. Julia Miller

    Bravo and well done Margaret Feinberg ... whatta message for Charlie! How blessed [he is] to have fans like you.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:29 pm |
    • Angela

      I agree! It took alot of guts and heart to write an open letter to Charlie and possibly incur his rath. I to believe that deep down Charlie can be a great human being if he makes his priorties straight. Charlie, if all of your money was gone tomorrow, who would be with you and stand by your side? Those are the people who truly care about you. I speak from experience of losing my business and my wealth in the past 2 years. The people who helped us move, cheered us on, lifted us up when we were down, etc are our true friends- not those who simply stand beside you when you are WINNING! With the upmost respect, Angela

      March 25, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  17. Weep4America

    Other than the advice to have coffee with Rob Bell, everything she said was good, solid, sane, rational advice that coherent adults do anyway. Good article.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:25 pm |
  18. lolasmama

    Not a fan of Sheen....never have been and I only care that he gets straightened out because he has kids. He is a sad example of a weak human being that likes to lie in their own waste. Pathetic little man.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:22 pm |
    • Weep4America

      I'm not a fan of Charlie Sheen either. Heck, I don't even own a TV, so I've never seen Two and a Half Men. But I DO care what happens to him because he's a human being. He has a family that loves him. How do you think your comment would make them feel? That's the problem with America today. Too many people not caring what happens to each other. Only for themselves. Sounds like you just might have a little Charlie-itis yourself.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:27 pm |
    • lolasmama

      weep4america. Charlie needs to love himself enough to seek help. No Charlie-itis here. I don't drink, smoke or do drugs...never have. I have compassion for people that want to admit their problems and face them head on. It is not my responsibilty to get Charlie help. It is his.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:31 pm |
    • Weep4America

      I'm glad you didn't get caught up in the trap of drugs and alcohol. (I didn't either.) But, when we stop caring about other people, we start losing our compassion and our humanity. Those two virtues are practically extinct in today's society. Hold on to them. Charlie isn't admitting that he needs help because he doesn't realize that he needs help. He's sick and doesn't even know it.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:43 pm |
    • lolasmama

      weep4america I have little patience for an adult that puts his own self gratification above the well being of his children. My concern and compassion are for his children. They probably don't really get to spend quality time with him because of his problems. If I were their mothers I wouldn't want my children around him. Sad thing is he probably will die very young and leave his children fatherless.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  19. klowie

    Bree Olsen is going to have a baby with two heads that will be 13 feet tall at age six. The two headed baby will then suddenly reveal itself to be the Messiah and destroy Hollywood with nuclear death rays from all four eyes. you heard it here first!

    March 25, 2011 at 6:21 pm |
  20. Patricia D

    I don't think Charlie is a loser by any means. He is going through a transition, and he will find his way. AND, I believe he will be way out in front of most of the rest of us after this is all over because he has the guts to make mistakes and learn from them. Besides, he's crying all the way to the bank.

    March 25, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • lolasmama

      What have you been smoking ????

      March 25, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • bubba

      get some education quickly !

      March 25, 2011 at 6:28 pm |
    • Susan Townsend

      Money isn't everything...

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

      Money can't seem to prevent him from acting retarded

      March 25, 2011 at 6:45 pm |
    • pothead

      @lolasmama Wrong! What have you christians been smoking?

      March 25, 2011 at 6:52 pm |
    • no name

      He's a LOSER with a capital L. No doubt about it. He is in a melt down.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:59 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.