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. Keith Warren

    Yawn, I'll wait for the next blog. My sinful nature comes through on this topic. But, I know Jesus loves Charlie.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • slipheart

      Everybody loves Charlie. Even "Charlie the Tuna" loves Charlie Sheen!

      March 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  2. IamAtroll

    If Charlie Sheen can "bang 7 gram rocks and finish them" then good for him, he still can contribute to society just as well or better than some of those ingnorant people out there who are like "Ahh scary drugs I dont know anything about instantly make people baaaaddd!!" Grow up and educate your self. So he's a crack head, doesnt isntantly mean he should be shunned from society.Besides, he's a good actor and if he wants to live his role then so be it, it'll make the show more realistic what with the crack bags under his eyes and such. And yeah, im probably stoned right now. I love everything.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • pothead

      You sound to nice to be a troll.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:38 pm |
  3. CB

    #4 is the only valid reason, Charlie. I also find it funny that this evangelical didn't even mention her god as one of the ways out of your "tailspin". Just like Joel Osteen, Ed Young, Jr. and others, she is also hawking motivational material rather than faith, because hers, like the others, is shallow and full of her own doubt, which helps solidify my assertion that a personal god is a ridiculous notion (a creator I can admit is a strong possibility, but a personal god is nonexistent). Believe in yourself, Charlie, truly believe, and pull from within you the real resolve you haven't even seen yet.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:37 pm |
    • pothead

      "and pull from within you the real resolve you haven't even seen yet." Yes, this is good. We all need to do that...me included of course!

      March 25, 2011 at 5:58 pm |
    • Interested

      "Believe in yourself"?..."Pull from within"?....really?...seems that when Charlie does that, we've already seen what Charlie gets. And I'm not any better.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
  4. Shannon Lewis

    That is a very thoughtful letter. I hope that Charlie reads it. Kindly, Shannon PS I am a Unitarian Universalist.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
  5. Kate

    So Easy to give such beautiful and meaningful advise to a total stranger based on what YOU think is best for them and their family... Especially when he is not ASKING for anyone's advice on how he should live.. perhaps you should focus your good deeding on a person in your community that is actually desperately seeking help and redemption– sure there are soles to save that you have turned away from while assembling these powerful words for Mr. Sheen.. Leave him be- he is claiming and earning his power, you don't have a clue! but, God Bless you anyway!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Katja

      Yet here you are, giving YOUR opinion on what SHE should do. Take your own advice, lady.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • Gee S

      Katja: LOL.

      I'M glad to live in a FREE COUNTRY!! 😀

      March 27, 2011 at 11:39 am |
  6. Johnny

    This is the lamest open letter I have ever read in my entire life.

    Just another sign that shows how LAME and NOT winning they are.

    Let a man be a man and enjoy their success without whimping and bringing up to the table Billy Graham (omg why would you do that)

    March 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  7. heston 2012

    Hey if it works why Knock it.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:35 pm |
  8. Shivors

    All he needs is to read the bible and worhsip your magical deity right? I mean that fixes everything right?

    Charlie is a meglomaniac which outwardly is comical to say the least but if he is using, then this will end very badly. This attention he is getting will being to wain and then he will spiral into a staggering depression. My guess is he will self medicate with every drug he can get his hands on. In the end, we will hear about him being found in a pool of his own excriment and vomit. his kids will lose their father and Sheen will rank up there with Smith, Farley, Belushi and others.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:34 pm |
  9. enigma65

    if Charlie finds Jesus we'll all know he hit the final stage of lunacy. But think of the great sound-bites... "I've got Jesus blood and God DNA" or "I'm a Holy Ghost" or "... a drug called Religion". Drink the kool-aide Charlie... you just might be the "Beast" they talk about in Revelations.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
    • Rudy

      Who drank the Kool Aid?
      That makes you a Monkey!!!

      March 25, 2011 at 7:35 pm |
    • Jaime

      You don't believe in evolution, Rudy? You don't think that God's divine plan was that creatures would reproduce and those that passed on their genetic traits would dominate genetic representation and that segregated gene pools could mutate and evolve ino seperate species?

      There is a difference between Faith and Ignorance. A person can have faith in God and still be learned in the scientific understanding of the world around them. Or a person can be ignorant of facts and use religion as an excuse. It is a choice.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:17 am |
    • Gee S

      Actually, he accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior, YEARS ago at a local church .....

      March 27, 2011 at 11:38 am |
  10. bhmike17

    Just another Fundie trying to "save" someone.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  11. Tacha

    Beautiful, well written.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • steve

      Thank you for agreeing with me!

      March 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  12. Jerrold

    I hope Charlie takes a minute to laugh his head off and then doesn't give it another thought because what this woman has to say as "advice" isn't worth the web page that it appears on!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:32 pm |
    • Katja

      And yet here you are, commenting on it.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • musa1975

      Katja: well said.

      March 25, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  13. Lizzy10

    Wish he would listen to her or his dad or to anyone. What's with all the nasty things being said? He is a person with a family who still love him and need him to get better. 5 kids, Mom and Dad and siblings, people who are hurting. Seems really sad that some would like him to crash and burn and really small of them.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • mantaec

      There is nothing wrong with Charlie Sheen. But there is something wrong with those that degrade him. Leave him alone. Live your own life and shut up and listen to him and you might discover that you are the trolls!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
  14. cybermonk

    My theory is she wants to be the third goddess...

    March 25, 2011 at 2:31 pm |
    • Gee S


      March 27, 2011 at 11:36 am |
  15. pothead

    Do you think Charlie Sheen gives a rats ass about what you "trolls" say? He is laughing to the bank and I am supporting him. Every time someone does something different you religious trolls come crawling off your "F'n" pews to try and change things for your own interest. Get a life and leave the rest of us normal people alone!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
  16. Bob

    To YouAreTrolls.... so Charlie... what are "the lies"? Tell us....we are all listening....

    March 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • slipheart

      Hey ass, you don't listen to Charlie! If you did you wouldn't need to ask that question...You are a troll. Trolls don't listen they only salivate at the thought of screwing over people. You sure you are not G. Bush?

      March 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      You want some truth torpedoes? Tickets are still available

      March 25, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Bob

      Lame Chuck..... so it's all about the money....that's a lie in itself.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      So you are going to sit there and judge how someone makes money? Do you have a job? Do you earn a living?

      March 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
    • YouAreTrolls

      All are welcome aboard, except TROLLS.... it's impossible for you to understand. WAKE UP

      March 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • cybermonk

      The truth torpedo will set you free!!!!!!!!!!!!! Hit me up CS I want to work for you. cswinningonly@gmail.com

      March 25, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
    • Bob

      I'm saying if you really had a message......you wouldn't need to charge people for it...you got something to say.....SAY IT......making us pay to hear your "truth" is bogus... it's WHINING.....NOT WINNING

      March 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bob

      The really funny thing here is that Chuck is a TROLL for his own media.....

      March 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
    • Bob

      I guess Charlie has left the building...................................

      March 25, 2011 at 3:12 pm |
  17. Nielsen

    Gee Bill

    You feel free to believe what you want. You can call it self rightous but it's more than that. It's living a good life and not at the expense of others. You are wrong about NDE's and will be confronted with the truth about life. Your brain is not doing weird things. If you get more education you might find that has been disproved. You comments mean nothing to me and vice-versa so be who you want. I choose to be good. Sorry that bothers you so much.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • Bill

      You choose to be good! That is so special! By the way, it doesn't bother me at all, I just don't like smug.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:27 pm |
    • pProf

      There is none good but God.

      March 25, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  18. Smite Me

    Cr@p, that's all we need – a ranting, raving, maniacal, Christian evangelistic Charlie Sheen. Oy!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
  19. John

    Excellent, humble advise. I think we can all choose humility or pride depending on where out focus is. The power of a changed life is the best evidence of a creator. I pray that Charlie can be an example of that.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:27 pm |
  20. Rex Mundi

    Evangelicals are infinitely crazier than Charlie Sheen could ever hope to be.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:26 pm |
    • Mike Mills

      Franklin Graham is a racist with a huge ego. I love & respect his father but he is nothing like his father.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:40 pm |
    • ExcuseMe!!!

      She isn't trying to convert him. She is offering support in his time of need. She is human like all of us. Are you!!!

      March 25, 2011 at 5:56 pm |
    • Jaime

      Indeed, "ExcusseMe!" however misguided, she is just trying to help. Frankly, the best help he could get is for everybody in the media and the bloggosphere to abandon him and leave him alone rather than try to profit off of his travails or gawk at his troubles. Then his friends and loved ones could be the only people paying attention to him and maybe then – without us as enablers – he could get the help he needs.

      The only way he hits rock bottom is when our eyes look elsewhere. We who read the news about him (but more those of you who watch TV and buy tickets to his shows) are his enablers.

      March 27, 2011 at 10:22 am |
    • Gee S

      Mike: Go back and watch some of Billy's sermons. He NEVER minced words, and he called people and actions out and named them wrong too. I have ultimate respect for Billy Graham because he NEVER has compromised and has always spoken the truth in love. And he HAS spoken the truth.

      March 27, 2011 at 11:35 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.