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. Kanoodle

    That is what the religious extremists do. They look for people when they are at the most vulnerable and weakest,
    and try to convert them.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  2. JohnRJ08

    This is an incredibly self-absorbed and naive "open letter". It may as well have been written to the Easter Bunny, given the impact it will have on the recipient, assuming he reads it at all. Charlie Sheen doesn't have a spiritual bone in his body right now. He is total hedonistic, carnal mode, and it's working for him because he is surrounded with stacks of cash and giggling enablers. His current value system is in another realm. Telling him that his children "need a loving father" is preposterous because he has obviously convinced himself that other people are preventing him from being with his children. He takes no responsibility for his actions and probably thinks his behavior is completely appropriate. This is, no doubt, due to the considerable neurological damage that his lifestyle has brought upon him. His problems aren't spiritual. They're pathological. Why CNN bothered to print this utterly ridiculous "open letter" is a total mystery. Who do you know at CNN, Ms. Feinberg? The best thing that people who care about Charlie Sheen could do for him is ignore him. Get off his Twitter list and don't show up for his so-called "Torpedo of Truth". Until Charlie realizes that he has caused people to abandon him he will not reach the rock bottom his has to hit before he chooses to get the help he so desperately needs.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • KB

      Finally someone that has the genuine answer to his problem. Thank you.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:18 pm |
  3. Roy

    What a terrific article Margaret Feinberg. I hope Charlie is sane enough to understand this because altho it makes a ton of sense to me, he's in such denial that it may already be too late. Hope for the best.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:47 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      Right now, Charlie Sheen is a delusional paranoid going through the typical hyper-manic phase of many addicts. He's high without being on drugs. Wound up, talking fast, waving his arms and making bizarre statements it typical of this condition. When he goes through his inevitable crash, he will probably go back to drugs to regain that high state. And that's when he will be in the most physical danger. It's going to happen. Just a matter of time. Ms. Feinberg's letter, as sweet and constructive as it was, may as well have been written in Aramaic.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  4. acetoast

    Soooooooo condescending. Get off of your high horse, Church Lady.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  5. Gir Affe

    P.S. Margaret, stay genuine. We need more people like you in the world!

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

      "stay genuine". Huh? If she was true genuine, she would have written the letter to Charlie and not posted it here for us to have fun with. She is either very stupid or wanted the attention of the Majority...And it appears that the Majority are winners...count the positive posts for Charliebaby! Charlie wins, arrogant christians loose.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:25 pm |
  6. Sandra

    I personally hope Charlie gets better! I personally hope all drug addicts get better and get healthy so they can live long healthy lives and enjoy thier families and their own lives! He needs help as does everyone else who is on drugs. Everyone needs to stop being so hateful and judgemental because Everyone Has a Little Junk in their Trunk so to speak!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  7. K

    Oh good lord this is obnoxious. Take your daisies and finger wagging somewhere else, the man's awesome. You're not his mother and this "letter" makes you look absolutely ridiculous. A fool and a troll.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  8. Jim

    Quoting a line from one of my all time favorite movies Airplane.
    "I say let him crash!"

    March 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
  9. Gir Affe


    It's nice to see there are still kind people. I can tell by your compassionate tone you are a genuine soul who does not relish in the misdeeds and misfortunes of others. I must admit, I was on the Charlie ride to watch the crash which seemed imminent.

    But after reading your blog, I realized Charlie is a human with the same pressures we all face (money doesn't really change our problems, it amplifies it. Your decency made me check my own baggage at the door and now I sincerely wish Charlie gets his act together for himself and his kids. I find myself watching 2.5 men reruns to see if I can spot his cry for help between the lines, but I guess I am not skilled enough.

    Finally, I wish you nothing but blessings for taking the lead in being a human and recognizing the humanity in Charlie.

    All the best,


    March 25, 2011 at 2:45 pm |
    • Katja

      This was beautiful.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  10. Justin

    You are no less delusional with your pseudo-religion/drug of choice. It took people thousands of years to realize astrology was a load of BS, hopefully evangelicalism will get the axe sooner to prevent all the wasted time preaching it. Get a real job/life.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
  11. Me

    Oh great. Someone wants to fix him with Jesus and make him more delusional.

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

      I actually laughed when i read this, well done.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • pothead

      Wow! I'm stoned and that made sense! Keep up the good work. I love it.

      March 25, 2011 at 6:06 pm |
  12. Mikeaddis

    Um, I did not read anything about religion in that letter. Why when someone is positive does thought turn towards religion?

    March 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • mojigga

      look up rob bell and billy graham silly.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:53 pm |
  13. Grumpster

    That's a really awkward looking pose for the bio pic there Maggie....as for Sheen, you aren't a blip on his inflated ego's radar. This article seems to serve your sense of duty to your boss for justifying a paycheck, but won't have an impact in the least

    March 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
  14. Ringo

    Heres an idea!
    Quit doing stories about him and giving him the attention he craves, suckers!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:42 pm |
    • Jon

      Quit reading the stupid stories and maybe they will quit writing them ..... sucker

      March 25, 2011 at 2:49 pm |
  15. A

    Finally. A clear head that doesn't feed into Charlie Sheen and his antics. Thank you.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  16. Jill

    This was a very nice, well meaning commentary on a very troubled man. Her writing was nothing but positive and, in "her opinion" helpful ways to support a fellow human being who is obviously in a lot of pain. Why are there so many haters on this site? Shame on you!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:41 pm |
  17. Mark

    There are so blood thirsty illogical idiots commenting here. If I said stealing is bad you would agree, but if I said "God" says stealing is bad, you flip out and go straight after God?

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

      Atheism = WINNING!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Rick

      I wouldn't flip out and go straight after god I would ask you why you are quoting something that doesn't exist in anything more than imagination.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • Joe

      Poor, poor Jim (i.e. Atheism = winning). Jim, your atheism is the epitomy of ignorance, really! Do you really set yourself against something that doesn't exist...wow. This letter might be for you!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  18. billf



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

      Yes! Long live the King!

      March 25, 2011 at 3:20 pm |
  19. bryanmark

    Sound like there's an evangelical that's a little disappointed in how their life turned our and now the rest of us should give up fun. Good times simply aren't for you, you gave them up for lent or some such nonsense. I'm not forcing you to have an abortion, give up the bible or support gay marriage, stop trying to dictate what the rest of us "should" be doing.

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

      It's clear you have no life yourself. The article is beautifully written.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:44 pm |
    • Jean

      Hahahaha, you have no idea what you are talking about!!! Good luck being happy after killing babies or whatever else you think is fun and of course GOD BLESS YOU!!!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:48 pm |
    • Joe

      Very nicely written and truly thoughtful article. Calvin, you could learn from this. Re-read it again, especially the part about redemption...it is never too late!

      March 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm |
    • Joe

      Oops, not Calvin, I mean bryanmark!! My bad!

      March 25, 2011 at 3:05 pm |
    • KB

      Yes it's a well written article but i completely agree with bryanmark, yes i am atheist and of most religions and most people of faith i am completely tolerant although the one thing that i dislike so much about both christians and muslims is their urge to try and convert me! Yes i know that not all Christians and Muslims are like that although i have never met in my entire life a Hindu or Sikh who have tried to convert me. If i am right one of the main messages in the bible is to treat people as you would like to be treated so can i please ask that since you oppose people questioning your religious views please follow a simple teaching from your bible and don't question mine.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:09 pm |
  20. Fritz65

    Rob, Your comment about this moron seems to be one of a misunderstanding, and yours, you hole! Nobody wishes anyone dead, it just that it seems the logical progression to this idiot's life and I doubt anyone will feel too surprised if it actually is the next we hear about old Grampa Sheen. 45 and bedding pseudo-twin daughters. 7 gram rocks (come on!!! doubtful)...every friend he's got is not, as far as the "crack media" (no pun intended! get it, Rob???)) team following him, helping him in any way other than scoring for him or feeding his delusions. So I end this quip with a comment to you, madam, what are you doing to keep this idiot off of the front page of tomorrow's newspaper? That's what I thought! Nothing.

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

      "Nobody wishes anyone dead"
      Speak for yourself

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

      cry some more...

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

      Jim – Even though yes he hasn't exactly been on his good behavior but how in any way what so ever does that effect your life? If you don't want to see him, don't read articles about him or watch his television shows!, but i just can't even think of the name i would give you right now, what sort of person who has never met someone nor spoken to him and is not affected in any way by him, wishes he was dead? Get a life.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
    • Fritz65

      I hope this meets your approvals! Remember Martin and Emilio: they'll carry on the torch and replace the burned out!

      March 25, 2011 at 3:11 pm |
    • Jim

      KB –
      I didn't say I wanted Sheen dead....I couldn't care less either way.
      Nobody wanting anyone dead? thats a different story.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:16 pm |
    • Fritz65

      Come on, guys! Jim seemed hurt, so I gave him an "apol"......not a full apology. Sheen lives? Sheen dies? He's got nothing I'm envious of.....I'm unemployed with a master's degree and 2 kids in college.......still, I'D rather be dead than be anywhere close to that f'd up, voodoo knuklehead. Really, he's as close to a "tool" as this country can handle at the moment, and dead? Maybe that'd be best...............

      March 25, 2011 at 3:16 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.