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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,

Margaret

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. cybermonk

    Its so fun to watch an entire nation get played like a fiddle.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:01 pm |
  2. Bob Perks

    Charlie, I'm not jumping on the "Bash Charlie Sheen band wagon." I still believe in who you are and all you will be again. I just never give up on people when giving up, beating up seems to be the popular thing to do. You'll be back, Charlie, even better than you ever were before. "I'll see you in my prayers!"

    March 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  3. BIGRED

    Open letter from America to Charlie Sheen. We really have lost any interest in you completely. You are now just one more pathetic overated loser, and a complete waste of oxygen. Even Bree Olsen realized what a loser you are and left you. So go away now and squander all your money on coke, booze, and tarts and make way for new talent in Hollywood who can perform circles around you. Dude if you want to see real winners, real Americans go to any factory, any cancer ward, any school, any police department, any military base. At the moment you just don't add up to anything and you certainly don't measure up to any of us in the middle class.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  4. Katja

    I think what Margaret said was beautiful and I hope someone close to Charlie reiterates her points in a way that will make him listen.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  5. Shame

    The problem is not with Margaret or her article. The problem is with the people who read it and immediately felt anger, anxiety, or felt the need to put her down for stating something positive. These people are the reason the world is like it is today. It is all about me me me me me. If people cared about others half as much as they care about their own lives and beliefs, I think the world would be a better place.

    You do not have to believe like Margaret, but you do not have to bash her either. She wasn't wishing him dead (truly an awful human thing to do for anyone regardless of what they think, believe, say etc), telling him to get lost, or telling him she hopes he falls of the next 'rock'. She was genuine and she was caring...And I for one believe that the world needs more people like her.

    You 'haters' and 'bashers' out there who take pleasure in putting positive people down and wanting positive people to 'shut up' should take some of your own advice. You don't like to be told to shut up yourself...so don't do it to others.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  6. Justthefacts

    You have Got to be kiddin' me! Margaret Feinberg, do you actually think, Charlie Sheen's gonna find time and space to read your column? If you think so, then you are a heck of a lot more delusional, than he (Sheen) is.

    March 25, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
  7. Kim

    Unfortunately what goes up must come down. Charlie will crash and burn eventually. The sad part is that once this natural high goes away he will go back to the old reliable way and probably die. Such a sad story but unavoidable with all the enablers around him including the fans who fuel his behavior.

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

      Yes, he will binge himself into the next world, probably in the near future. Same as Chris Farley and John Belushi.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:06 pm |
  8. JohnN

    My dad was on a drug called... "Charley Sheen" for all my childhood. He was, and is, a charismatic, whirlwind squadron of martian rockstar fighter jets bombing anything that stands in his way of getting what he wants. His first, second and third wives got in the way of him getting what he wanted. Jury is still out on the 4th wife. His multiple kids (not sure how many he really has) were loved when it was convenient. I remember he came to visit one time, drunk on a drug called "Charley Sheen" and told me with all certainty that he was going to become President of the United States in 5 years. He then stole my Christmas presents on the way out the door (telling me later that his money had paid for them so they were really his). When I was a kid, I never knew what was going to happen when my Dad came to visit. I was always eager to see him, but always had a feeling of fear, too.

    He disowned all his kids (by that time we were all adults) about 10 years ago, telling us we were the people that stopped him from achieving all his dreams.

    Now, my Dad is a respected professional. Successful, really well paid, admired by many, now retired from work. He always showed up for work, and did an exemplary professional job all his life. Sounds a lot like Charley Sheen, doesn't it?

    I don't care if Charley wants to crash and burn on his own terms. I would only say he has no right to make his family – and the world – keep him company while he does it. I am 100 % sure Charley would say he would never do anything to hurt his kids, but the one thing kids need more than anything else is to feel safe at home. When you're growing up with a warlock dad full of tiger blood it's hard to feel safe when you're busy being overwhelmed by the awesome #winningness.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:58 pm |
    • BIGRED

      Wow. Nicely put. You have my admiration and respect.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
    • Katja

      I hope everyone reads your post. It's good to see this fiasco from the point of view of a family member who is actually getting hurt by this. There are so many "Charlie Sheens" in the world, and if even one of them can see himself in this and wake up, then Margaret's article has done a lot of good.

      I wish you well and I hope you can recover enough to have a happy, healthy life of your own.

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

      That sucks John, your letter hit home and my heart goes out to you. As a Dad myself i too hope Charlie is taking care of his kids and is there for them. All the rest of it aside, I hope his kids come out ok.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:10 pm |
    • Beth

      Well said.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
  9. Kelley Carter

    This is the best comments section that CNN has ever hosted! Really love that the pro-Sheeners are split down the middle with the sentimental bible humpers/thumpers. I know who I'd rather spend eternity with! Best of luck Charlie, don't listen to the man and F da police.

    p.s. Truly an ineffective forum to argue for the existence or lack of the supernatural. Even though I love to hear god disproven as much as the next guy.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:57 pm |
  10. Miss thang

    Margaret,

    hes an entertainer!!!!! I find it entertaining and he seems to be having fun. The reason people are interested in him is that he seems like a real person and vulnerable also. You can't be self righteous and be a sheen twitter follower too. Thats just plain dumb.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm |
  11. JARAD

    Interesting but, why should he have to look or think about those on the other side of the world who have lost everything.. i'm not mocking or putting them down but, seriously.. When someone is rich or doing well for themselves everyone always say you should look to those less fortunate and help them... why? if its not what you want to do, its his money and he earns it by being the funniest guy out there.. He is living his live how he wants to and to be honest he isn't hurting anyone save a few who will say he is hurting himself. Here would be my letter to Mr. Sheen.

    Charlie,
    We have seen the last few years and more recently the last few months you excercise your right as a person to do and say what you wish. Your antics have entertained us and made some of us look at ourselve and you with a question of why? I would caution you against anything that you are not in control of.. really in control of. If you are living life, happy, content and have no regrets, can bring your children up to be wonderful adults then I have only one peice of advice for you.
    JUST GIVER!!!
    ps. please find something to do on TV again soon. I miss your hilarity.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
    • bugsy

      You should have much better things to worry about.

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

    I remember going through this...... http://www.Luke1721.info

    March 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  13. pegger

    Charlie loves to laugh! I hope he reads this and comments on it! I want to hear him bash this idot...the far right is always trying to impose their beliefs on us. Leave us alone and crawl back into the womb you came from...your god and jesus can kiss my brown butt. Hey why don't you idiots go bash those good god fearing asses that protest at the funerals of our fallen military. Pray for those idiots...woops, you probably agree with the protesters! Practice on your majority god-freaks and leave the majority alone!

    March 25, 2011 at 2:54 pm |
  14. SPB

    If Carlos Irwin Estevez's behavior appears to be acceptable to you then you are most likely too young and naive to see what he has lost. The guy is never getting back his youthful looks or witty charm back because he destroyed it in favor of cocaine. That drug in a particular will wear down you heart valves until your heart explodes. Depending how much a person has done in ther life will determine how soon the weak heart will burst. Keep cheering him on and you'll see. Update your dead pools asap, Carlos is chasing the dragon.

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

      He's not getting is youthful looks back because he's gotten old. That isn't coke's fault, that called TIME.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:04 pm |
  15. RaeofLight

    You know what? I'm a Wiccan and I have nothing but GOOD things to say about Margaret's open letter to Charlie Sheen. There is NOTHING wrong with her pointing out to him that, "Ya know what? Maybe you need a different perspective on your life." She is simply showing that there are 'controversial' people that he should open himself up to – mind you, it's the Evangelical version of controversial, but still. Being a good, loving, and responsible human isn't necessarily represented by the Evangelical faith, however it is Margaret's best well of knowledge to draw from.
    Charlie Sheen needs to grow up, put on his big boy pants and be a responsible man, parent, and person in general. Get a hold of yourself, man. Most of the world that hears about Charlie's stories are seriously just waiting for news of his accidental overdose to cross the wire. Sad.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  16. IT'SATRAP

    People don't know when negativity comes or goes, we do sure know how to jump pile on hope and turn it into an illusion. n_n

    March 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
  17. Patrick Richardson

    Charlie Sheen is great. He has it together and will prove that everyone who thinks he's in flames is WRONG.Nobody is perfect and being a celebrity of his caliber people who are jealous want to see him burn. Consider, he's an actor and this is just part of the show and the show must go on. Also he should charge the network 5 million a show plus college, and health insurance for life for the kids. The network makes much,much more off him and his cast than they pay out so no tears from me there. Anyway this whole thing seems contrived by the network to set the stage for a new season. Finally,give him the writers he wants and let him go to work. Go Charlie Go, PS. your dad is great too. Just my opinions.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:52 pm |
    • JohnRJ08

      Sheen is quite obviously mentally ill. And this hyper phase he's going through isn't going to last. He's going to crash and, when he does, he'll be the greatest danger to himself. He's no different from any other addict out there who has been in and out of rehab for +20 years. The difference is that he has the personal resources to satisfy his habit whenever he feels like it.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
    • jovana

      give him the writers he wants? what planet are you from? the writer he has made the show what it is. charley is no stand up comic, he just reads the lines someone else has written.

      March 25, 2011 at 3:07 pm |
  18. whome

    tldr

    March 25, 2011 at 2:51 pm |
  19. DJem

    I don't find anything crazy about this letter, except for who it's addressed to. I do hope he reads it and at least steps back and thinks for a few minutes before one of his many leaches finds out.

    March 25, 2011 at 2:50 pm |
  20. heston 2012

    Charlie has money women drugs and is still a misrable soul. would'nt want to see him die for lack of support but he needs to take a look at himself and stop believing his own Hype. The human body can only take so much before it shuts down Tiger bld or not.wake up Chuck.

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

      I doubt that in his current hyper-mania he is feeling much of anything. He's probably 100% reactive. His concept of the future probably reaches about a week.

      March 25, 2011 at 2:59 pm |
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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.