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. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Diamonds???? why president gave to Noami Campbell for gift??? I have miss that article...... I could find article what she was testify to lawyer.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  2. joeholzer

    @Heather If what you say is true, it would happen more often than "reported." Mental strength might certainly aid physical strength, but the act of prayer to a god hasn't cured anyone. Ask any cancer or AIDS patient on his or her deathbed if it helped. If you truly feel prayer is a cure-all, what is to become of non-believers?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  3. Nicole The Netherlands

    @Lori, i think he meant sitting there at that moment undergoing the chemo treatment..

    August 5, 2010 at 10:44 pm |
  4. Sharon Hastings

    I wish well for Christopher Hitchens and I hope he has close relationships to support him in his illness. And since we are all a piece of the same universe and are all connected to one another, if prayer has any healing power, I hope some comes to Christopher.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  5. Emily

    @Megan & Samantha,

    The 9-1-1 Caller/Murderer; that was very eerie. I'd hate to be taking that call. Hearing yesterday's call was something, yet to actually have the murderer calling ... having to stay calm, convince him that he's going to be OK, the Police will not kill him, etc. (it would be an out-of-body experience)

    August 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  6. Nancy in Oregon

    You know, Jo Ann, even if he did (and I can believe he did just because we all experience some kind of 'ism' in our work places and everything else....people are too prone to 'isms')-it is still no excuse to take a gun and shoot them all, shoot others, hurt so many people. Something else was going on for that man. Had to be.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  7. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    I believe his heart is in the right place in doing what is right for the people of Haiti as his heart have always been. I just hope he does not find himself being misled by the temptation of the presidency.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  8. barry c

    anderson..i have always known about your brother. i lost my twin sister to suicide ..you are so right there is no closure...as crazy as life is my favorite cousin is dealing with the same illness christopher is as well...its not good....thanks so much for the interview w christopher and opening up about your brother...i have never been able to put my sisters death into words until i heard you speak of your brother...thank you so very much...

    August 5, 2010 at 10:43 pm |
  9. Marina

    Magnolia and Blood diamonds. Those 2 movies come to mind.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  10. Shanny

    Fantastic interview! I'm embarrassed to say I don't know this man's writing but am curious to look it up now.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:42 pm |
  11. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    I agree, there is no such thing as closure. The lack of "closure" is a clear indication how important that being was to your life. The most intense grieving I have (and continue) to experience is the loss of my dog. I say good night to him every night.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  12. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    What a bright, articulate man this Christopher Hitchens is. He has truly faced some tragedies let alone the cancer that he faces today. Surprised he hasn't cried yet...WOW! I do agree with him and Anderson on their thoughts of closure. So true. Memories of tragedies never go away and are "closed".

    August 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  13. lisal -canada

    i hope mr hitchens has not lived with feeling guilty about not being available when he thought his mother was calling him – and he could have changed something. there is every possibility that she may have reached him, and it would have been their last conversation anyway. NO ONE knows how things may have turned out.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:41 pm |
  14. Sue R. Canton MI.

    I wish Christopher Hitchens the strength he will need to get through this cancer and treatment. Many people prayed for me and many wished me well and all of it helped me through my chemo and cancer treatment...It strengthed my faith and how I looked at life ............Good luck to you Christopher Hitchens and I wish you well.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  15. Lori, CA

    I do not know anyone who describes kemo therapy as boring. It makes you really sick.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  16. Aida

    I read your book on Mother Teresa which changed my life...make sure you get PLENTY of Meds if in Pain.. at all...my husband is a M.D. He never let's his patients suffer...they actually heal faster with less pain..Love to you, Aida

    August 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  17. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    Early night for me...

    Have a good weekend everyone. Talk to you monday!

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

    Hitchens has great strength. It's unfortunate that he might not live to see the day when our brains can be downloaded into a computer thus making us live as long as our technology does. That day will come, and some of us will be lucky enough to live long enough, some won't be that lucky and it's very sad.

    Maybe one day technology could resurrect people...probably impossible but who knows where technology will be couple decades or centuries or millenias from now.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:40 pm |
  19. Nathan

    I was diagnosed with cancer when I was a born-again christian. I survived chemo and radiation therapies and became an atheist in the process – largely thanks to Christopher and other great minds of history. I can only wish him the same medical fortune that I had, and I hope that he pulls through. He seems scrappy enough!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  20. Emily

    I SO Agree!
    That word, "closure" is so over used, and inaccurate.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:39 pm |
  21. jayne

    Mr. Hitchens is very brave - not just in his battle with cancer, but his honesty about not believing in God. If only we could all accept that everyone has the right to believe or not....

    August 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  22. Emily

    Suicide is such a nasty thing!
    How awful that his own mother did that...it clearly explains ALOT!
    (why he would not believe in God, imho etc)

    August 5, 2010 at 10:38 pm |
  23. Nancy in Oregon

    Exactly, Emily. None of us will not die. Let's hope that people who disagree with us don't rejoice!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  24. Lori, CA

    Personally, I think that life can be so brutal. I can not understand how someone can live without a belief in God. God is hope

    August 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  25. Casey Jones - Palm Springs, CA

    "If you can hold it down on the smokes and the cocktails...."

    I'll drink to that! Good for Christopher! He will go out NOT a victim, but celebrating the good in his life. I wish we weren't so conditioned to react to death like it's such a bad thing. I just don't see death that way.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:37 pm |
  26. Nancy in Oregon

    I agree, Heather, Spokane...he is like all other humans: he is human. He deserves the best he can have and the care he deserves. I just hate people rejoicing when someone they disagree with is mortally ill or dies!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:36 pm |
  27. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA

    Christopher Hitchens is best author I have read! my heart goes to hi who have cancer..... Anderson is doing good job interview him, how he felt his life, scare to lose and never give up the faith. my dad died of cancer since 13 years now.....

    August 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  28. Emily

    'no one gets out of here alive....'

    did he say that he is a smoker?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:35 pm |
  29. Nicole The Netherlands

    Mr Sean Penn had some interesting things to say on Larry (Wolf) about Wycleff. Looking forward to the follow up by AC360 on this issue..

    August 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  30. Aida

    Mr.Hitchens you have always been a light of wit and brilliance to me...my son who had a long conversation with you at Washington Univ. St Louis...agrees. I've read almost everything you write with much pleasure,always, Thanks for that... Hope you get thru this bump on the road...My Love to you, Aida

    August 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  31. Bob

    Dear Christopher – I agree with David's comment above in wishing you strength and love in fighting and being treated for cancer. Good on ya.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  32. Nancy in Oregon

    Naomi Campbell just wants her life back, I assume!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  33. Heather - Spokane, WA

    Mr. Hitchens, I don't care who you pray to or if you pray at all, I hope you beat this and I hope you feel better and bless you

    August 5, 2010 at 10:34 pm |
  34. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    Nicole, There are certain types of VISAS which are a bundle of papers and if for whatever reason they are lost or stolen, then they are plainly irreplaceable.

    While in every country including this country it is a law to present papers when asked, trust me, its hard to carry a full file with lots of papers.

    In my case, I have a single card that can prove my presence but not everyone is that lucky!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  35. Nancy in Oregon

    I believe that Hitchens will be okay in the long, eternal run....I don't think a person has to 'buy into' anything to be loved.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  36. Brad Ohio

    Naomi said she has people coming up to her door in the middle of the night all the time bearing gifts, like blood diamonds?.....give me a break, her testimony holds as much water as a sieve. She didn't open the bag until the next morning, then donated them to a charity that has no record of it....wow....what greed and money will do to people.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:33 pm |
  37. Nicole The Netherlands

    The supermodel was "inconvenienced".
    Everyone was blabbing about how she got everyone as far as there could be no pictures taken of her. very smart she said 'she got some dirty rocks'
    Mia Farrow is next..

    August 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  38. Gloria, Brooklyn, NY

    That was not way to take matters in one's hand, he took lives and his own life! Use the court system to handle matters!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  39. Samantha Rowley - Nashville, TN

    @ Emily
    Yes, Omar was the guy who hit the manager (Steve) who fired him and was then shot in the head. From the sounds of that chilling tape, he seemed so distraught. I wish they could have helped him. This 9-1-1 operator seemed like he was getting through to him in a way.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  40. Jo Ann, North Royalton, Ohio

    @Heyward, "Mr Thorton experienced some horrible racism at his workplace "

    What proof is there that he was telling the truth? Did he file any complaints? No, I believe this was a hate crime pure and simple.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:32 pm |
  41. Nancy in Oregon

    Hitchens is a human being. I've often found much of his tone to be offensive, not his belief, and he strikes me as a very angry and hurt man-though very bright and with many good points to make. I have not been able to listen to him for long at a time for that reason. But he is a human being and as such is probably facing his own death now...as we all must do, no matter which belief we lean on at that time. I do wish him peace and a sense of having done life the way he thought best.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  42. Sandon

    I would be interested to know what he is doing differently with his daily life if anything. Love the Hitch!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  43. lisal -canada

    i have a feeling that wyclef's involvement in the politics of haiti will be a catalyst for change

    August 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  44. Mike, formerly from Syracuse

    @James in Canada. Studies have shown that sick people who have other people praying for them do better than those who don't. Even when they don't know that someone is praying. Why is that?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  45. Sree Nanduru, Richmond, VA

    The card that proves my legal presence has my finger print, my picture and all other needed details!

    That is what I plan to carry with me all the time going forward!

    August 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  46. Tara

    Mr Hitchens,
    As a Christian my thoughts and prayers are for your healing, especially your spiritual soul. My question is: At this difficult time have you thought about GOD's existence more? less? or has it remained the same.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:31 pm |
  47. Megan Dresslar - Shoreline, WA


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


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

    @Mike...I'm not sure I want MORE government.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:30 pm |
  49. Emily

    Is W. Jean serious in this?
    What do you think his odds are?
    Would he be better for Haiti?

    August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
  50. Nicole The Netherlands

    @Mike, yes that would be an solution or beginning.... We here have an identification duty.
    By law, you need to have it with you all the time.

    August 5, 2010 at 10:29 pm |
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