My Open Letter to Justin Bieber on

Puff the Magic Dragon. Screen capture from "Puff the Magic Dragon and the Land of Living Lies" via

Puff the Magic Dragon. Screen capture from “Puff the Magic Dragon and the Land of Living Lies” via

Below is an excerpt from “My Take: An Open Letter to Justin Bieber” posted on today:

“…Last year you reached a milestone when you turned 18. You are living in a liminal state, standing at the threshold between childhood and adulthood, still more boy than man.

Times of transition and change are difficult for anyone, never mind someone whose every move in public is chronicled by relentless paparazzi and other members of the media. You must be gentle with yourself as you navigate these new waters, but you also must be diligent to guard your heart and mind more now than ever.

Whether you’ve partaken of the “sacred herb” just once or burn more cabbage than Tommy Chong at a Furthur show is not the issue that most concerns me.

It’s the decision to light a spliff or one-hitter or cigarette or whatever it was in that Newport Beach hotel room last week where folks were snapping pictures with their smartphones that troubles me.

What you do and say echoes around the world. Your very young fans watch and listen to you carefully. When they see images of you with a butt or blunt in your hand or waiting for a friend to pour you a glass of vodka, the message they receive is inconsistent and confusing.

I can’t imagine that was your intention, if you gave much thought at all to what you were doing before you chose to do it, but that’s the reality.”

Read the letter in its entirety HERE.


About Cathleen Falsani

Cathleen Falsani is an award-winning religion journalist and author of the critically acclaimed The God Factor: Inside the Spiritual Lives of Public People, Sin Boldly: A Field Guide for Grace, The Dude Abides: The Gospel According to the Coen Brothers, BELIEBER: Fame, Faith and the Heart of Justin Bieber, and the newly released Disquiet Time: A Devotional for Ordinary Skeptics (edited with co-author Jennifer Grant and published by Jericho Books, Oct. 2014.)

  • fireboy48

    “Spliff”? “One hitter”? “Blunt”? Someone is displaying a very firm grasp on stoner terminology.

  • Marty Jones

    One of the things that is so hard about living in this world is the confusion between the Gift of Grace [our innate talents] and the use we make of them. When one is successful [I imagine], it’s easy to believe that one deserves the adulation. After all, people are all day telling one of their tremendous talent.

    It’s easy to forget that everything we do is a choice. Even the things that seem as though there is no other choice. Justin could choose, at any time, to stop being a celebrity. I sometimes wonder if that is why people sabotage their careers by their actions. If one chooses stardom, one also chooses the responsibility that comes with that reward.

    It’s a hard road. I hope he pays attention to your wisdom.

    Blessings, Marty

  • rosemary odiatu

    Marty, your comments were sport on. You hit the nail on the head which is not often clear to many people. God’s gift of talents has a godly use which unfortunately many do not know how and so find themselves sucked into unquestionable behaviour. This is true for not just Justin Bieber but for all of us.

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  • Dan Francis

    Incredibly thoughtful, grace-filled letter to Justin at a crucial time in his life by a lady who has earned the privilege to say it!

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