August 5th, 2010
09:45 PM ET

Christopher Hitchens on cancer & God: Join the live chat

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/01/02/liveblogfinal.copy.jpg]

Tonight Anderson talks to best-selling author Christopher Hitchens about living with cancer, the very real possibility he'll die of it, and how he, one of the best-known atheists on the planet, finds comfort in his very tough struggle. Has the prognosis moved him from his atheism?

We'll also look at the illegal immigration debate heating up in Virginia, not a border state, after a nun was allegedly killed by an drunk driving illegal immigrant. And, the call Omar Thornton made to Connecticut police after shooting many people at his workplace.

Scroll down to join the live chat during the program. It's your chance to share your thoughts on tonight's headlines. Keep in mind, you have a better chance of having your comment get past our moderators if you follow our rules.

Here are some of them:

1) Keep it short (we don't have time to read a "book")
2) Don't write in ALL CAPS (there's no need to yell)
3) Use your real name (first name only is fine)
4) No links
5) Watch your language (keep it G-rated; PG at worst - and that includes $#&*)

Filed under: Live Blog
soundoff (207 Responses)
  1. teresa, ohio

    @Mike: re: the cards? dont we have them? social security cards?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  2. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Thornton was a racist and cold blooded murderer. Without a doubt this was a hate crime and should have been given more coverage..

    August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  3. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    I think this guy just finally snapped–fed-up with (I'm guessing) a lifetime of being treated like a second-class citizen. That recording is absolutely chilling. The guy absolutely knew what he was doing was wrong but just couldn't take it anymore.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  4. Heyward

    Mr Thorton experienced some horrible racism at his workplace to resort to this violence. As A Black man I can fully understand him and his anger. I do not condone his act of violence, but I certainly can understand it.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  5. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Wow!!!! That's so scary I have heard, he confession during 911 calls.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  6. Libby ~

    Wyclef Jean for President of Haiti and he broke the news to Wolf Blitzer! 😀

    August 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  7. Heather - Spokane, WA

    @Joeholzer, its been documented that menal positivity can have an affect on healing the body, if the mind thinks it the body can do it, its the old 'mind over matter' issue

    August 5, 2010 at 10:28 pm |
  8. James in Canada

    Mr. Hitchens, if I thought for one second that my prayers might actually do you some good, I would instantly renounce my atheism and begin an around the clock prayer group for you.
    As it is, I can only offer my wholehearted best wishes to you and express my hope that science and medicine will win this fight.
    Stay strong, please. We need your voice.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  9. Libby ~

    Thornton sounds so nonchalant while talking to officers... What a sad, sad situation for all of the victims and their families. 🙁

    August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  10. Lori, CA

    That is a very sad situation.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  11. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    We need to issue national identity cards that are needed to do anything, work, open a bank account, get a license, register a car, vote, register a child at school, etc.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  12. Paige

    Just think. If the government truely enforced the laws against illegal immigration, that nun could still be alive. I'm not saying all illegal immigrants are bad, but technically they are all breaking the law and should be punished. Illegal immigrants should not be here, they need to be deported.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm |
  13. Nicole The Netherlands

    To me it seems that this illegal immigration issue has to be adressed nationwide... There is no way around...

    By the way, i can´t cope with people who drink (and/or drug) and drive. Makes me very angry.. and sad..

    August 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  14. Emily

    Is this the same guy that shot last nights caller in the head?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  15. Sharon Hastings

    Excellent suggestions from the congressman. But it will take a serious commitment on the part of the government.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  16. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    The guest made a good point about issuing identification cards with biometric abilities. That way no fraudulent identification can continue. A friend of mine goes to work and clocks in using biometrics (palm on a reader) and she works as a nurse at a nursing home. It took the attendance fraud to zero. A little expensive to install, but it has been worth it these past two years, according to her employer.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  17. Nancy in Oregon

    I agree, Jo Ann...no one needs to compound the tragedy or add to the problem. It's just all so sad, to me. I'm so grateful I haven't lost anyone that way....or lost my own life prematurely that way.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:26 pm |
  18. Maureen Jurmann

    Christopher, I have always been a great fan of your work. I don't always agree with you but I enjoy how you debate and argue your points of view. I just saw you on Anderson Cooper and hope you will be able to beat this disease. If anyone can, it will be you. All my best to you and you are in my prayers.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  19. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    While you are legally here and on a specialist occupation visa like mine, you have to stick with your employer and cannot change jobs. Your spouse would not be allowed to work. You have to have to have a permanent resident card in hand to do all that.

    You will have to have A+ level grades, master degrees and excellent academics and even then you will have to wait in line for 10+ years. So currently both legal and illegal do get same treatments.

    However, every one will need to realize that its still a privilege to be able to live in this country! And immigration is not a right! Ever!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  20. Rafael

    America has yet another addiction ...the addiction of cheap labor. Stop the need and accessibility of cheap labor and you will slow down the influx of undocumented workers.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:25 pm |
  21. Nancy in Oregon

    Good evening, Emily-yeah, that's the problem I think. How many arrests are needed in order to restrain drunk drivers? It is purely lucky that they didn't kill someone the first time out. No great testament to their skill in driving drunk-just a testament to the luck that some unfortunate person didn't cross their path at that time. I'd really resent it if someone I loved was killed by such a selfish person. More needs to be implemented from Day One when someone is caught the first time. Maybe take them to the morgue and show them someone who was killed?!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  22. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    The US legally admits one million people a year, more than the rest of the world combined. We are doing more than enough. Enforce current law.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  23. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    It's truly a tragedy of what happen to the nun, but unfortunately, illegal immigration has not been under control which is brought back to our attention!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:24 pm |
  24. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA


    The Obama Administration deported more illegal immigrants? That is a surprise

    Yes. You are absolutely right! Obama Administration already have people deported mostly.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  25. Lori, CA

    Hello Anderson. Hello Everyone!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  26. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    @Nancy in Oregon, "the law means nothing to many legal residents either."

    I agree, but imo, I don't think we should be adding to the problem by allowing proven law breakers to stay in this country.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  27. Emily

    I heard an awful lot of "Buts" in there...excuse, excuse, Excuse!!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  28. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    They are not 'undocumented' they are illegal.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:23 pm |
  29. Colin in California

    Mr. Hitchens, thank you so much for all of your work. What are your plans regarding writing or dictating during your treatment?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:22 pm |
  30. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    @JoAnn...actually, there is a large Asian population making it into the U.S. through the Mexican border. It is a notable problem as well.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  31. sandy... colorado

    Children born to people here illegally should not have automatic citizenship, imo.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  32. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    There have been so many USCIS/ICE officers conducting interviews with people like me – who have been legally here.

    If to become a permanent resident it takes 10+ years and at least 6000.00 dollars, then I would expect the process to be faster. But its not.

    May be USCIS should go after illegals rather than spending time on people like me who are legitimate! There are almost a million applicants that have been legal all their life and have been waiting for their applications to be approved.

    Only 140 applications from each country a month are approved!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  33. Heather - Spokane, WA

    @Nancy in Oregon, I agree with you and I think we need stronger drunk driving laws. i know too many people who drive drunk and some have never been caught and some have, and they still do it. It's not right and too many people die from it

    August 5, 2010 at 10:21 pm |
  34. joeholzer

    Prayer obviously isn't the cure for cancer or anything else for that matter. I hope Hitchens can beat this disease, and the only way to do it is biologically. It's awful to see anyone go through the pain and how rapidly it strikes.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  35. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    "The Federal Government has not lived up to its' responsibility.....bla, bla, bla" SO MAKE A CHANGE....you're a part of the Federal Government, representative.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  36. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    The Constitution has been changed for changing times. The 14th Amendment needs revision.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:20 pm |
  37. Chelsea Du Fresne

    Orwell said it best with, "Happiness can exist only in acceptance." Mr. Hitchens obviously has a difficult path ahead of him, but that path is lined with a multitude of supporters. Thank you, Mr. Hitchens, for showing the rest of the world that there are atheists in hospitals as well as foxholes. I wish you the best of luck.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  38. Helen

    The Obama Administration deported more illegal immigrants? That is a surprise.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:19 pm |
  39. Nancy in Oregon

    Sadly,m Jo Ann, the law means nothing to many legal residents either. On drinking and driving, included. For me, that is the main issue-people who don't care if they hurt others or even end their lives.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  40. Emily


    Hi Nancy... "If we do our best to keep drunk drivers off the road and from killing people"

    I find that many of the laws, they need to be enforced very strongly the first time someone is found "drinking & driving" ...If not, it's not likely to stop. The majority of people – either know not to, or would not.
    The others have to have punishment Enforced, or they will keep doing it.
    [3rd time this guy was caught]

    August 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  41. Karen

    Hello Anderson ,

    Virginia has many illegals in that state , just like the other 49 states.
    Something needs to be done , there's to many Illegals taking over USA. There's 26 million people all out of a job , they want to work .
    The government of United States needs to change the laws .

    August 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  42. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    Latinos are the ones sneaking over the border so of course they are the ones that are going to be asked, and they should be. I don't think many Swedes or Chinese are sneaking over the border these days.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  43. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    Gutierrez clearly doesn't get it that all illegals are abusing the law, not just the ones caught for some other violation.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  44. Carl Miller

    Christopher Hitchens is an inspiration to rational men and women everywhere. His efforts to advance reason in the world is his gift to all humanity.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:18 pm |
  45. Jim

    Immigration status in drunk driving cases is of secondary important. How many US citizens are repeatedly arrested for drunk driving and/or failure to have proper licenses or insurance. The states need to crack down on the initial problem drunk drivers and letting them back on the road.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  46. jay


    Regarding the drunk driving incident. I have one question I hope you could ask. What percentage of drunk driving accidents in this country is caused by illegal immigrants?

    Yes, I agree that guy should not have been released.

    I hope you could ask this question on your show tonight. i'm watching and waiting for answers. thanks

    August 5, 2010 at 10:17 pm |
  47. Brad Ohio

    Good evening Anderson and all! Wow, another death due to the negligence of the government and the repeat offender...how many repeat offenders have done this?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  48. Nancy in Oregon

    I agree with you Heather, Spokane. Sadly we do not do enough to keep drunk drivers from being on the road again, legal or not. I don't care if people drink....just think people have no business behind a wheel at that time.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  49. David, Indiana

    Why would the immigration proceeding take precedence over the prosecution or supervised probabation for repeated offenses involving driving under the influence and a speeding offense. Wouldn't the possibility that he is an illegal immigrant lead the local court to attend more closely to his case?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
  50. Rafael

    The influx of immigrants entering illegally is not the only problem with this incident its the broken justice and immigration system. Instead of allowing harassment by cops fix the immigration system.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:16 pm |
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