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. jb

    I wonder if you all poke this way about Steven Baldwin and Robert Downey Jr.? People praise them both but take a moment and see that Charlie Sheen is the old Robert Downey Jr.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
  2. Nielsen

    Dear Terre:

    I'm not a religious nut. So easy to blame religion. Did I mention religion? No, I said afterlife.... I believe in Spirit and Soul. Not religion. God is God and religion is Man. You and Charlie obviously have no spirituality and will find out that you should have researched more in this lifetime. Read about NDE's and think real hard. Too much proof of an afterlife or, eternity. Love is all and you are a lost soul, just as is Charlie.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:07 pm |
    • Bill

      NDE's don't prove anything, except that the brain does wierd things when you are about to croak. But thanks for calling people "lost souls". You're not a religious nut, just a self-righteous jerk. Congrats!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:17 pm |
  3. Drew

    This letter sucks I hope Charlie doesn't read this, I want to see more crazy antics not a responsible and newly changed Sheen. The reason he is so popular is because of how crazy he is, keep it up charlie your the most entertaining person of all time

    March 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  4. Voig Nederlander

    Allow me to terrify all of you for a moment: Suppose he knows EXACTLY what he's doing?

    March 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  5. Steve

    It's a little wierd that Charlie makes so much money for acting stupid. But when you look how people who actually work are looked down on, like Wisconsin's governor Scott Walker is doing to union people, you have to wonder if he isn't on the right track. Maybe we should all become lobbyists.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
  6. Bob

    The opinions of a self proclaimed "evangelical" are worthless. Intelligent non-radicalized people will agree with me, I'm sure. Have a nice day!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:05 pm |
    • David in Corpus

      I will send you a barnes and nobles gift card for xmas this year my friend.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
  7. Michael

    Charlie Sheen is obviously winning.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      And so are we!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
    • Nielsen

      He looks like he's at death's door. He looks 20 or more years older than he is. WHAT A WINNER....more like WEINER

      March 25, 2011 at 2:23 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      Again, Nielsen, Thanks for the amazing insight! The Weiner joke was absolutely hilarious! Keep them coming! WINNING

      March 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  8. lolwut

    Lady, you're senile. and must've never been on drugs. you can't just quit charlie sheen, it's like herpes. it's always there, whether you see it or not.

    What i read was, "instead of being charlie sheen, try to be ryan seacrest".

    March 25, 2011 at 2:04 pm |
  9. You can't be evangelical....

    A true Christian knows Two and a Half men is one of the most immoral shows on the air. How can you, as an evangelical want that back on TV? Every episode/storyline is completely against Christ's teachings. Yes, we want him to repent and ask for forgiveness, but there is no way we as Christians can support how low that show needs to stoop for laughs.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Bob

      Christ can kiss my ass.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • ???

      Forget the moral reasons for cancelling the show, it isn't funny and it hasn't been for a long time.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • DK

      Gottta again agree with Question Marks

      March 25, 2011 at 2:14 pm |
    • Bill

      The show is immoral, but you watch "every episode". Terrific.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
  10. Caesar in Atlanta

    Where is the open letter to the Pope for protecting priests after they molest boys, girls and women? Where is the open letter to Pat Robertson for blaming the earthquake in Haiti as punishment from god and making ridiculous statements. Where is the letter to Pat Robertson for supporting the war in Iraq and endorsing the killing of 150,000 men women and children in Iraq? Where is the letter to George Bush for saying God told him to go to War when GOD specifically said in the 10 commandments not to kill. Where is the letter to Christians for being hypocrites for selecting only sins that are convenient and play blind to sins that are popular and hard to enforce.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
    • Katja

      Why didn't you write those letters?

      March 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  11. Down with media wh0res

    Well, BigDaddy, I'm not saying she should keep her opinions to herself. If she was truly concerned, she would have sent this "letter" to Charlie directly...she wouldn't have used it as a chance to get herself publicity.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
  12. ???

    Who is more self righteous, the author of this or Sheen?

    I think it's a tie.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
    • Bill

      No, the author wins...just look at her picture! Can you smell the smug???

      March 25, 2011 at 2:11 pm |
    • DK


      March 25, 2011 at 2:13 pm |
  13. Gee

    I agree with almost everything Ms Feinberg said. But, I fear, Charlie Sheen is so far gone that he laughs at us and thinks that we all envy his life. We don't, but he believes his own publicity. About his being fired from the show and now suing everyone: Can anyone else rant and rave publically about their bosses and get to keep their job. I don't think so. He's fired..leave him fired, he doesn't deserve the cushy job he had. I struggle just to keep my electricity on and this idiot screws up a job he's had for 8 years PLAYING HIMSELF for heaven's sake, and making almost 2 million an episode. How hard could that have been? Whatever happens to him, he only has himself to blame. I used to care about him and was disturbed to see him deteriorate, but now...I'm done.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  14. J

    Charlie don't never change

    March 25, 2011 at 2:01 pm |
  15. ZJ-Away!

    Sheen is uneducated. Have a look at his bio. Surely he is insecure about this. What do you expect from a smooth brain?

    March 25, 2011 at 1:57 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      Does him lacking the education of TROLLS really mean anything at all?

      March 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm |
  16. krissysnow1228

    Ummm....cant you all see that this is just him diong what he dows best? Making money? DUH! He does not need any spiritual path...he is fine and we are being entertained. CHILL!

    March 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • DK

      Thank you K-snow. I'm really glad there isn't just people here debating on whether what he is doing is good or bad. Back up and Let the man make money!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:10 pm |
    • Eagle1

      DK You're an entertainment addict, blind to anything of real sustance

      March 25, 2011 at 3:29 pm |
    • Eagle1

      Sorry, I meant you're both entertainment addicts, maybe there's at least a tenth of a brain between the two of you...

      March 25, 2011 at 3:31 pm |
  17. Patrick

    Who are you to tell Charlie how to live his life? You are latching on to Charlie's celebrity and using it to propel you forward in your own endeavors. How dare you

    March 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  18. YouAreTrolls

    Charlie Sheen speaks the truth.... its impossible for Trolls to understand that. You are fed lies and garbage and accept that as reality. Maybe you need to experiment a little to understand. The Charlie Sheen Train has just started rolling and isn't stopping for a long, long time. Hop on board now while there is still room.

    March 25, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
    • #WINNIG


      March 25, 2011 at 1:56 pm |
    • brea

      Is this you Charlie?? Seriously?

      March 25, 2011 at 2:02 pm |
    • Bob

      This sounds amazingly like Charlie...

      March 25, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
    • Brian

      This is Charlie Sheen posting isn't it?

      March 25, 2011 at 2:08 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      Could it be that others also see through the lies? Have you listened to what Charlie says or do you just sit there and make your judgements from your couch, working your dead end jobs and living "the dream"? It's time to WAKE UP

      March 25, 2011 at 2:09 pm |
    • Bob

      LMAO!! "the lies"

      March 25, 2011 at 2:15 pm |
    • Bob

      Someone needs to develop an "app" for generating the type of dribble that comes out of Charlie Sheen's mouth...... iSheen

      March 25, 2011 at 2:18 pm |
    • Nielsen

      Keep pushing. With people like you he's sure to crash hard...jump on the train and take your sorry selves as far as it will go! Shoot for Mars. Earth has little use for Charlie and his kind. He's a waste of money, time and as a parent.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls


      March 25, 2011 at 2:20 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      Nielsen, thanks for your amazing idea! lets go to Mars! Very logical! You are a very intelligent person!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
  19. Nonimus


    I think you are doing more harm than help.
    1) Sheen needs professional help, not just spritual guidance. Sending him to Rob Bell or Franklin Graham will, at best, just prolong the underlying psychological issues.
    2) I understand your point about helping the less fortunate, but how can you possibly want to inflict this man on those hurt and troubled people of Ja.pan. Haven't they got enough to worry about without this Warlock Assasin, or whatever he calls himself, showing up.
    3) Selling out generally implies one has something of value to offer; I think Sheen needs to rebuild that value before he sells anything.
    4) Perhaps this is what you meant but, until Sheen is more stable (see #1), I don't think he really shouldn't be around his children.

    Just my thoughts, but I think I'm as qualified as you, Margaret, to "diagnose" Charlie Sheen. (Which is basicaly *not* qualified.)

    March 25, 2011 at 1:54 pm |
    • Kate

      Right on Nonimus.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:00 pm |
    • Eagle1

      Are you on drugs or just learned this selective hearing/reading thing? I read you comments prior to reading the article, and I wonder after reading the article if you read into it, or really listened to what was said. Get the earplugs out man!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • Nonimus

      I'm not sure what you are getting at. What specifically do you think I misinterpreted or misread?

      March 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  20. Diana

    Franklin Graham . . . are you serious.

    March 25, 2011 at 1:54 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.