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. Tom

    Margaret Feinberg, we appreciate your attempt to sell "Scouting the Divine" and "The Organic God," but you've got to come up with something more original than "saving Charlie Sheen." As you point out, there are a lot of other people out there with much bigger problems, and getting in on the C. Sheen storyline just makes you look desperate. And why not instead of recommending Franklin Graham you look at the significant ways in which Graham is worse for our culture than Sheen?

    March 25, 2011 at 12:46 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Because she is a do-gooder bro......
      who, of course, likes to get paid for it.

      March 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm |
  2. Retired GySgt

    Franklin Graham? .. the fundie is off her rocker too.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:44 pm |
  3. Carol

    It's a lovely letter. Expresses what many of us feel. I hope he reads it and follows through. I don't see evil in him but I do see terribly misguided, spoiled and narcisstic. I'm rooting for him to get better.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:36 pm |
  4. Paula

    Bravo...this lady is amazing! You are amazing too Charlie. God thinks you are amazing too! You can do it Charlie..you can embrace change! You can be a catalyst to start the world on fire for God! You can be a testimony....and rewrite His-story...so that God will do it again for someone else as well. That is the power of the testimony....that what God does for you he can do again for another. God is definately trying to reach out to you through this amazing lady's letter. It's got Holy Spirit all over it! It's hard to embrace change when you stay in familiar territory...but change is worth it. It's worth it for yourself, for your children, for your family! Another great person who loves on celebrities down in the southern California area is Shawn Bolz...of E58 Ministries in Hollywood! You should go check that out....do it Charlie...just slip into a meeting and suprise them. Or come up to Redding, CA and hang out with Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton of Bethel Church! They are two amazing men of God...who will love on you, give you a safe place to retreat and you will feel so refreshed to have all the junk washed off...sorta like going to a car wash! Now is the time...Today is the day of Salvation! Praying for you...that God will rock your world...and that you will never be the same again Charlie. God Bless you! Love from up north in California~

    March 25, 2011 at 12:34 pm |
    • Tom

      "It's got Holy Spirit all over it!"
      Yuck. Does that come out?

      March 25, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
    • Fond_Phantom

      Ask an alter boy. Badabum pssshhhh!

      March 25, 2011 at 6:05 pm |
  5. Rod from Indy

    What presumptuous tripe!!! Trying to tie into the craze that is Charlie under the guise of offering advice is sleazy. Why not write this open letter about John Doe in Texas? Because it won't promote her or her books. Pathetic. Nothing this mediocre actor with a hit show has done proves he's in some tailspin people would just love to watch. None of us know what happened with his estranged wife, his relationship with his producers or castmembers, or with Charlie. So save your fake sympathy for someone who wants it.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      They is funny ain't they brother. People are not even meant to be this sympathetic (not without their own motive at least). The average American does not even realize how fiendish most of us are as well as themselves. Sometimes it makes me sad how hard they try to be 'good', but mostly the hypocrisy makes me want to vomit.
      I heard someone say once that not even bad people think their bad, lol. NOT! We know we are bad, we just don't care enough to pretend not to be. There are only degrees of badness and goodness in everyone, but make no mistake do gooders, we humans are meant to be mostly bad.
      By the way, what is so bad anyway about getting the most for you and your own even at the expense of others. I don't see animals in the wild going out of their way to hook others up. And yes, we are animals my fellow sheep.

      March 25, 2011 at 12:48 pm |
  6. Onewoman

    Charlie needs medical and psychology help. Its too bad the only people he's listening to are his overpaid staff and brainless "goddesses". I'm disappointed his family is not seeing to his welfare, and intervening in his life. All I can say at this point is say hello the AnnaNicloe and the King of Pop when you see them. I will miss you, the real Charlie Sheen and I'm sure so will your children. And a note to Charlie's family...contact the Jackson family, they can tell you where THEY went wrong.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  7. muffnstuf

    Give this woman a standing ovation! She has written a prescription that Sheen needs to follow. I agree with everything she said. I've commented on several websites pretty much everything she recommends. The people buying tickets to his "concert" are just hoping his crash will happen when he is on stage in their town! The saddest part about Sheen is what Feinberg has as #4 on her list. His kids. They will one day read about their father and his life. I hope it won't be in his obituary. While I never really cared for Denise Richards, I think right now she is a better mother than Brooke Mueller. Maybe Bob and Max should live with Denise until Brooke cleans up and stays away from Charlie. Until Sheen gets rid of the "yes" people, he will never feel the need to change his life. That may kill him! How sad for his family.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:18 pm |
    • Dan


      March 25, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  8. Mike A.

    Ms. Feinberg: It's my opinion that you are quite the fraud here! You state that Mr. Sheen should seek counsel from religious leaders. Why not leaders of other disiplines? Why didn't you reach out to Mr. Sheen personally rather than post an article on CNN? Yes I know the blog is faith based. I understand that and am clearly cognizant of that fact. However, if you honestly wish to help Mr. Sheen you might want to include other "walks of life." Mr. Sheen is obviously behaving this way to garner attention to his silly lawsuit and to gain additional fame and fortune. I for one will not play his ridiculous game!!!

    March 25, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
  9. RevRonsRants

    Ms. Feinberg's heart is certainly in the right place, but she needs to recognize that Charlie Sheen needs medical help first, and lectures later. Having worked for years in the psychiatric profession, I've seen the manifestations of manic depressive (now called bipolar) disorder many times, and Charlie's symptoms are textbook. While I agree that he needs honesty now more than he needs acquiescence, I fear that such honesty would make a dent only if delivered in the form of an intervention by those closest to him. Barring such an event, his prognosis is pretty grim, and the train wreck nearly inevitable.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:11 pm |
  10. Terry in L.A.

    Margaret, what an incredibly compassionate letter that shows you genuinely care about Charlie Sheen as a human being! I hope he reads it AND takes your advice!

    March 25, 2011 at 12:10 pm |
    • Strelok

      I lol'd

      April 3, 2011 at 9:11 pm |
  11. Jo

    He really needn't go far to hang with losers, just go to every comment page after an article on him. He'll find plenty to choose from.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      Not to bright on your part girl. You realize you are on the blog as well.

      March 25, 2011 at 12:26 pm |
  12. JohnR

    Why would anyone follow Charlie Sheen? And can't this woman find someone more worthy of her care and concern? I guess she's hoping against hope to be the one to snare a celebrity convert. Pretty lame.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:04 pm |
    • M

      I think the point is that EVERYONE is worthy of care and concern.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:43 pm |
  13. br111

    I don't understand why anyone care's about what sheen does. It doesn't concern me, you, or any warlocks. Let the man live his life the way he wants. It's his life, his money and his body.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:03 pm |
  14. Doug

    i want a reality show with sheen and lohan ... now that's a trainwreck worth watching

    March 25, 2011 at 12:02 pm |
  15. emma

    I loved him bac whn n love him now blow it out of portion charlie just like the media! they making such a big deal bout give him wht he want so i can watch new shows of (two n a half men) already gosh n which one of u all is feeding the kids y yall making such a big freakin deakl he love his kids he also want them to know this is ur life live how u chose !!! mayb if he would have jus did the oj no one would really care by now!!! come on people move on we're living in our last days as we know it!!!

    March 25, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
  16. Miranda

    I like the do-it-for-the-kids incentive but that only works if the person (Charlie) thinks there's something wrong with the kids or the parenting skills. If you see him in interviews you know he doesn't think that. You're asking him to think logically in the first place and isn't it obvious he cannot? That's why he is in the mess he is in. He can't think logically or understand how he looks and sounds to the rest of us. We can only hope, for his benefit, that he crashes and burns soon and then his parents can step in legally to have him hospitalized and hopefully take over making decisions for him.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
  17. Felicia in Cali

    Way to go Margaret. So much GRACE & TRUTH. This is the way to reach out to someone who is obviously hurting.

    March 25, 2011 at 12:00 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      I know a thing or two about criminals, having been one (never busted) in my previous life (as us reformed thugs like to say). You people don't get it. He is a criminal, a drug user, a party boy. He likes the privelage more than the money (although the money and privelage go hand in hand). He likes getting away with stuff while others twist and turn according to the whims of others. He doesn't feel guilt like most of you do (if at all). He doesn't feel pity like most of you do (if at all). He gets off on being bad and takes alot of pride in doing it well. He would rather live his life the way he does and die than adapt to y'all's way of living.
      Everyone will feel sorry for him when he dies, what a waste and all that, but he won't feel bad about it. That is the price you pay often when you live life in the fast lane. Those who are meant for it are like Mother Teresa was to humanitarianism, they are meant to be that person. I was not and thus adapted to being one of the sheep. Actually I was meant to be a criminal but I am primarily a white man (definately look like one) but was in a Mexican (American) gang and thus could not receive protection from my own peeeps in prison. That is why I got out. No amount of privelage and money can make up for me third eye being invaded, and no one, no matter how tough or mean, can avoid that in the slam without protection from their peeps. Guess I should have been an arian, lol.
      Peace out sheep, I gots to get back to work now while my old buddies across town are smokin' it up and playin' the PS3 with a gat and a girl (or two) by their side.
      I miss you homies! Este por la Raza!

      March 25, 2011 at 12:24 pm |
  18. Enough

    Charlie thinks he's something, but really, he is a big nothing!!! I don't want anything to do with people who get drunk and use drugs and then hit women. This person should be in jail.

    March 25, 2011 at 11:55 am |
  19. Joe

    The basic premise of this letter is inane. Margaret writes,

    "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"

    Margaret chose to follow Charlie on Twitter. He did not impose his words, thoughts or beliefs upon her.

    The funniest part about this is that Margaret has missed Charlie's point entirely. Namely, that he doesn't give a crap what other people think. He has the freedom and means to do what he wants, when he wants, and with whomever he wants. If Margaret is on Twitter, let's see whether Charlie is one of her followers. If he is, that could mean that he actually cares about what she thinks of him. Then again, he might just want to get an occasional chuckle...

    March 25, 2011 at 11:54 am |
  20. DB

    oh and it's too bad people don't just critique the open letter and not lambaste the author. agree or disagree with the text. Don't yell at the author.

    March 25, 2011 at 11:53 am |
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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.