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. Jeff

    I thought we were talking about Charlie Sheen. If you want to talk about religion, go to a chat room or make one up. Charlie needs help and the sooner the better. I hate to see him die from an overdose. Let's get together and support his extended family and get Charlie the help he really deserves. Stop lining up along the road and waitinb for him to crash and burn. If he was my brother, I would have intervened by now. If you believe in the power of prayer, pray for Charlie's turnabout. If not, shut up.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:34 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Where did you get your information? You must be very close to Mr. Sheen to know that he's so far gone. I mean, we all know that to make assumptions about people you don't know based on crap you here on the boob tube would be ridiculously stupid, and I know you're not that stupid, therefore, you must be Charlie's buddy.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:40 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      It's quite amusing that you ended a post about how people shouldn't talk about religion on the non-religious blog post (even though the author identified herself as an evangelical christian and is pushing christian literature and name dropping from the christian conservative movement) with a statement that really shows your true intent:

      If you believe in prayer, then pray for CS
      If you don't believe in prayer, then SHUT UP

      Very nice. Good form.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:44 pm |
    • GuardianOne

      I'm one of those who gives a rats ass who Charlie...what was his name again?...but when he smokes an eight ball size rock....damn!!!...I want to party with him!!!

      March 25, 2011 at 8:51 pm |
  2. mikey

    Nice read Margaret Feinberg.

    Thank you

    March 25, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  3. Ruthie In The Sky

    Meh. That is a nice piece that you wrote, Margaret. But I don't believe that Sheen really cares about anything beyond the walls of his 7m dollar "Gilded Cage." Unless it makes him look good, gets him attention or puts money in his bank. Charlie's all ego, not theology. I just like to bash and make fun of him. I bet he doesn't care about that, either. As far as I can see now, the only thing that would upset Charlie (besides Chuck Lorre) is being 100% ignored...or being kept away from his cigarettes.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:28 pm |
  4. Davydenko

    Why does CNN only seem to give voice to the most ignorant people people? Advice to Charlie Sheen from an evangelical Christian, seriously? What position are they to give advice about anything? The stunning lack of column space on CNN from atheists and other rationalists is alarming.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:26 pm |
  5. phneutral

    Do they still put in the plastic implants when you blow out your nasal cavities?

    March 25, 2011 at 8:22 pm |
  6. David V

    Nice try at getting him some help. But unfortunatly Margaret, he's a lost cause.

    March 25, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  7. pProf

    I see some saying that Jesus loves Charlie Sheen. How do you know this?

    March 25, 2011 at 7:42 pm |
  8. Mpandi

    Although he is responsible for what he has become, Sheen needs help, and true friends! I wish him good health.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
  9. Mpandi

    Tripp...and I suppose you are...? the opposite of a dimwit?

    March 25, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  10. Mpandi

    ...why do people always rant about God, yet they smile broadly and accept imaginary tales about life on earth 30 billion years ago...in the name of science...Is it so hard to accept that WE collectively are ignorant of many things?

    March 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Pirk2000

      The Earth is only 4.5 billion years old. Calm down.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:39 pm |
  11. BootsC

    Ms. Feinberg gave Charlie some excellent personal advice! After all, it is Charlie that is responsible for his actions and well being. Christian or athiest, both both travel crooked roads and responsibility for their personal well being comes from within. What ever tool/crutch they choose to use is ok by me, as long as it works for them and it shoud for you. Unless of course, you beliefs run along the lines of Reverend Phelps.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:26 pm |
  12. bg

    well said maraget I hope he listens and comes back to the real world he has alot to off his friends family and fans .amen

    March 25, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  13. Rudy

    @ gjwo
    Problem is not who sees it. It is all in who believes it... now with smear campaign all done, nobody will.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  14. david

    There's better things to worry about than charlie f___ing sheen, go away already

    March 25, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
  15. Jason M. Albanese

    Dear Mr. Charlie Sheen,
    My name is Jason M. Albanese and I am one of your biggest fans and I want you back to what you once were "Mr. Hot Shot".

    March 25, 2011 at 7:22 pm |
  16. Wu Dayi

    Charlie o' Sheen, spend a couple of days reading "Independent People" by Halldor Laxness. It ought to sober you up, in all ways regarding the real human condition, pretty quickly. In essence, you're no different from any of the "independent people" whose lives are followed in the book or who populate the world at all times in all places. If you can see that, lucky for you. If not, I'm sorry for you.

    March 25, 2011 at 7:20 pm |
  17. lilolladywho

    I sincerely hope Charlie reads this through and takes away a clearer idea of the next step. It's not even about staying clean and dry anymore it's about proving himself as a person. Everyone, common or uncommon, has a duty to his fellows to undertake positive missions in life. It is a global responsability, at times an onus but always a necessity. Spreading truth is perfectly lovely but feeling the truth should be paramount. We're rooting for you, Charlie. You really are an amazing addition to life on Earth. Now show us what you got. =)

    March 25, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • pProf

      Vomit reflex.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:50 pm |
  18. ShopXLV

    What about Charlie Sheen's "20 Minutes with the President" Youtube video calling for a new investigation into 9/11?

    March 25, 2011 at 7:10 pm |
  19. BootsC


    Sheen violates the basic principle of human existence i.e. "Do No Harm" !!!!....................................

    Outwardly, it appears to this casual observer that most of us have failed that test!!

    March 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • lilolladywho

      Indeed, I fail at it about twenty times a day. I guess the difference between non-celebrities and celebrities is the nons at least sort of take notice to what they've screwed up. Apparently a rock etched with his misendeavors will have to fall from the sky and hit him in the head before he "gets it". ((i bet he tries to freebase it))

      March 25, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
    • Reza

      no d*** a** that's Hippocratic oath .I read this article and i have to say you are not making a convincing argument. hey why don't you stop having fun and come feel sorry for these poor people people it will feel great. I would stay on sheen's side on this one.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:18 pm |
  20. tim

    go buy a Duh Winning t shirt. People bought pet rocks too

    March 25, 2011 at 7:09 pm |
    • Mucho Groucho


      To: Charlie Sheen

      An: Open Letter From Muammar Gadaffi

      March 25, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Simeon Johnson

      The Marine …

      Alacrity vs. Celerity is their motto and driving force

      Like her father and grandfather before her, marine
      Heather Campion fears little. She has seen much already
      in her 30 years, having survived active combat in the
      Persian Gulf; however, as she always reminds herself, she
      did not experience the horrors that her father did in
      Vietnam or that which her grandfather did in World War
      II. Wherever she defends the American flag, she does so
      especially in their honor.

      While they are proud of her fierce commitment, her father
      in particular had advised her against joining what has long
      been known as most “dynamic” force in the American
      nine years old, her father played an even more active role in
      his only child’s life. Heather honestly does not remember
      wanting to be anything but a marine.

      Whether she’s in the trenches, underwater, or high in the
      skies, Heather keeps the marine corps’ motto at the forefront
      of her mind: “honor, courage, and commitment.” She
      knows that she must, like all marines, function as a member
      of a team so that they can achieve success together.

      When she’s not in combat or training new recruits, she
      serves in the combat service support (CSS), a critical division
      of the marine corps, as those in CSS can be mobilized
      at any moment. Heather easily spends 12-hour days with
      CSS, but she always takes time to work out, at an average
      of two hours a day, to keep her tall, muscular frame in
      shape. She likes her job and wants to stay fit for it—she
      never knows when she may be called into combat to
      defend American lives, land, and liberty.

      Today she’s at an undisclosed location, serving in the military occupational
      specialty designations for CSS, where she supervises construction
      and utilities. As a combat engineer, she ensures
      that bases, camps, and installations have what they need
      to thoroughly achieve their missions.

      This valor, resilience, and loyalty is precisely what makes Heather
      and all the other marines worthwhile persons in more
      ways than a million!

      Follow the rest of the story on facebook: Simeon1’s Profile

      March 25, 2011 at 8:08 pm |
    • SonyMusica

      I see more to this message than religion, but one of general friendship. It's obvious that Charlie's new found fan base will not be around when he finds his footing again. He needs some tough love right now – tough love with sound advice. Stop the self adoration, hanging with people who have admitted using you for your money, and hating yourself. I get the resistance against the machine, not an issue, and more power to you. Care about yourself and your children with the things money can't buy. Charlie – All I see from you are sound bites from a new set of writers. I believe you have become very much the Hollywood machine you are fighting. So, which losers are best – the one's that pay you or the one's you have to pay to be your friends? What/who are you really fighting? Don't forget Carlos Irwin Estevez, live for Charlie Sheen – stop numbing and coasting.

      March 25, 2011 at 8:10 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.