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. Grace

    Calm down, you Christian. He's Charlie Sheen, he's winning, he's got Tiger Blood, and he can do whatever he wants, because he's Charlie sheen.

    Anyways, really, why do people care what other people do, even when it dosen't relate to their lives?

    August 2, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  2. zdeneczech

    I dont know why drag religion into all this.I mean an open letter by Margaret Feinberg...?Everyone knows that drinking tiger blood in the public and hollering from rooftops is not exactly a healthy way to express ourselfs but im sure that mr Sheen will get over it and soon move on rather than get suffocated by GOD!

    April 19, 2011 at 5:21 am |
  3. Matt

    Mrs. Feinberg is obviously NOT #winning

    April 17, 2011 at 7:44 pm |
  4. tomy barconi

    think that Margareth Feinberg is one of those corporate slaves. She thinks the way the corporate wants her to think. She behaves the way the corporate wants her to behave. She writes the way the corporate wants her or would like her to write. Charlie is not like you. Charlie does not need a check for the corporate to survive. He can have his own tour. you can't do that. And so, keep your advice for yourself charlie does not need it. Charlie Sheen is a free man, he speaks without fear. He does not filter his thoughts. I cannot do that because I could be fired. I need that check. Now, for those who are bashing Charlie, I suggest that you look in the mirror and see yourself, and perhaps worry about your own stuff and leave the guy alone. Charlie is in a zone that you are not, Charles Barkley is the closest to that zone because Barkley can speak his mine, he does not care about getting fired like Charlie Sheen. He is good looking, he is famous, his father is famous.... so what..... he will always be rich and famous. Please, people keep your advice for yourself, your kids and your friends. Don't worry about a liberated man. Worry about yourselves who are working hard for a pay check and let a rich man enjoy his life.

    April 3, 2011 at 5:57 pm |
  5. Coco2

    A very inspiring letter. I hope Charlie sees this and takes your heartfelt advice.

    April 3, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
  6. Cass

    Yes how did comments on this letter lead to whether there is a God or not?? This is a very beautifully written letter from a woman with a lot of heart. And as for the God thing: yes everyone has a right to their own beliefs and it is unfortunate that there are people in every belief system that make that belief look poor. But do not put down their beliefs because yours are different or because of a bad egg in the bunch. Every man knows in his heart what is right or wrong, it is his decision on what choice to make. I myself am a Christian and do believe in the almighty Father. And I will try my best to live my life accordingly. But i would rather go through life having my strong faith that there is a God who made me for a purpose and has great things in store for me and to die and find out I was wrong in my beliefs, than to not believe and to die and find out that there is a God. We are not judge.

    March 30, 2011 at 6:50 pm |
  7. Elizabeth M.R.

    God Bless the words of Margaret. Charlie Sheen is a human just like all of us and have problems. I always pray for him and Emilio because I've loved them from the moment I first saw movies with them in it. Listen people, don't be glad when you see him or any other hollywood star start crumbling down. These words of inspiration coming from a simple fan should be accompanied by many other letters to lift Charlie up as well as his family because every single one of them are suffering through his destruction. Love you all, no fame involved nor intended. Dios Bendiga. P.S. Yes I am a hispanic.

    March 30, 2011 at 1:24 pm |
  8. percyman

    Hey, David in Corpus, did it ever occur to you that we'd all be in a better place if there were MORE do-gooders around, rather than fewer? And with the accent on the "do," as opposed to simply cheering or jeering from the sidelines? The cheer/jeer crowd is the reason "do-gooders" - religious or otherwise - get a bad rap; the c/j's don't like being shown up by those willing to try and make a difference. As for Mr. Sheen, he desperately needs help, or he'll end up dead, like the oft-cited MJ and Anna Nicole. How does that benefit his children?

    March 30, 2011 at 11:51 am |
  9. Kelley Carter

    Hey name*hotrod, you sound totally hot! Let's have lunch! But wait, first I need you to take some history courses, you should start at 3rd grade, when we learned about the evolution of tools making... and oh yeah, learn to spell.

    I bet you can't guess what belief system many of those violent governments followed between the years of 500 b.c. and .... well now. Hint: initials are J.C. -Judeo-christian

    March 30, 2011 at 10:20 am |
  10. Kelley Carter

    Hey name*hotrod, you sound totally hot! Let's have lunch! But wait, first I need you to take some history courses, at least 3rd grade through high school... and oh yeah, learn to spell.

    March 30, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  11. rachel

    In my book Rob Bell isn't any more of a winner than Charlie Sheen, & wouldnt recommend him talking to Charlie Sheen, since I doubt it would do much good. I understand that he states Hell is not literal place. If Hells not a literal place, there is no punishment that Charlie needs to escape from.

    March 29, 2011 at 1:06 pm |
  12. BothSidesBlowIt

    The ones who give Christianity a bad name are Christians. The ones who give atheism a bad name are the atheists. Curious how both sides so often look the same from a distance. The scariest thing about atheism and humanism is the belief that mankind can save mankind from itself. You watched the news lately? Your impression of what the Bible is all about is completely infantile and uninformed, just like a lot of the Christians you hate. The Bible is not supposed to compete with Nostradamus, it's not a weather man or a bookie. It's mainly to inspire you to make some attempt to emulate Christ, something that even the most ardent atheists have conceded is a worthy pursuit. Maybe you mock it because it is such a difficult road for you to follow? It's a lot easier to simply watch out for number one, right? Then the world will eventually be all warm and fuzzy........right?

    March 29, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  13. Buck Futt

    Please MArgaret... Shaddup....

    March 29, 2011 at 9:00 am |
  14. Jamie

    I don't think any of us have the right to tell anyone else how to live. If the man isn't hurting anyone, let him be.

    March 28, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
    • VoipOfReason

      Well said, in a land of "freedom", we sure do know how to tell everyone else to act.

      March 29, 2011 at 11:41 am |
  15. JRM09

    The chances of Charlie Sheen reading this letter are slim – him taking it to heart, even less of a chance. That being said, I think this was extremely well written and could certainly apply to many others in this world. Personally, I took something from this letter and am glad it was shared with others.

    March 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm |
    • Linda

      I, too, thought this was a wonderfully eloquent article but have serious doubts that Charlie will even look at it, which is so unfortunate.
      It is such a shame to see such talent laid to waste , it happens all too often,
      Myself, I just pray he gets through all of this hoopla without seriously crashing.

      April 11, 2011 at 6:17 pm |
  16. ANP

    I loved that letter that Margaret wrote, it was beautiful!!!! I really hope he will consider all her words she said. I don't see why the woman writing this letter is controversial in any way. She's not stalking him, she's not bashing him, she's not some freak asking him to marry her....she's a compassionate woman who has a knack for writing kind and encouraging words. Go Margaret!!!!

    March 28, 2011 at 5:20 pm |
  17. Rhonda L

    I'm not sure how we got from a woman writing a concerned letter to a man to all this mud slinging. I though the letter was nice and I hope that Charlie Sheen has a life change before he goes the way of Anna Nicole, Heath Ledger, Marilyn Monroe, Chris Farley, Elvis Presley, River Phoenix, and many more.
    I agree, what do we all want the kids to see when they google their dad's name in the coming years?

    March 28, 2011 at 4:05 pm |
  18. Leslie

    Why is someone like Sheen ever getting define what it means to be a #winner? Seriously.

    March 28, 2011 at 11:19 am |
  19. Margarita

    Then we wonder this world is in so much trouble. Politicians use all their energy in trying to convince others to follow their agenda while contending one against the other. Nothing is done with the idea of putting others wellbeing before themselves. This was an article of concerned for someone who is mentally ill and refuses to get help. Regardless of the point of view of the author of the letter, she expresses the concerned most of us have for a person we have been aware of since he was very young. Concerned for him and his children. The well being of children should be everyone's priority. Here we are insulting one another, with little regard for any form of civility and respect for others. Then we wonder why the country and the world are so fill of injustice and selfishness. .

    March 28, 2011 at 10:02 am |
  20. Ian

    Chuck sheen seems to bring liberals out, in hoards.
    Defending losers at any cost?

    March 28, 2011 at 8:52 am |
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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.