August 5th, 2010
07:36 PM ET

Atheist Christopher Hitchens on God and those praying for him

Updated Friday 11:30 a.m. The full interview with atheist Christopher Hitchens on his personal battle with cancer and how it hasn't affected his atheism, from last night's AC360°.

Program Note: Anderson's interview with author Christopher Hitchens on his cancer diagnosis and whether it has changed his thoughts on God will air tonight on AC360° at 10pm ET. Watch a sneak preview below.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/?/video/bestoftv/2010/08/05/ac.hitchens.on.cancer.god.cnn"%5D
- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Atheism • Books • Prayer

soundoff (147 Responses)
  1. Cesarp Karima

    I am not certain where you're getting your information, but great topic. I must spend some time studying much more or figuring out more. Thank you for fantastic info I used to be searching for this info for my mission.

    July 29, 2012 at 11:04 pm |
  2. scarlette

    Only the GRACE OF GOD can bless us with another day!!!! GRACE is sumthing we dont deserve!!!! But from the kindess of his heart he still send it down upon us~We are all sinners and come short to GOD....REPEANT AND BELIEVE AND YOUR SOUL SHALL BE SAVED!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 12:33 am |
  3. roseofthedesert

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. It is moments like this that believers and non believers should respect each others space. As a muslim I respect Christopher Hitchens's view of life. Everyone has the right to believe or not believe. Believe/not to believe is a personal space/right between a person and her/his Creator. It is not upto to us give other people hard time. There is a balance in life and a thin line between reality and unreality. As a muslim humanist who believes in the sufi wisdom that promotes peace and respect between humanity I think we should all think positive and keep positive thoughts in our minds for everyone regardless of differences.

    Our prayers and thoughts are with Christopher Hitchens.

    August 17, 2010 at 9:11 am |
  4. Maggie

    Well...praying for you to live or to die.....um.....well. We all do Mr. Hitchens. And no death bed conversions for you and honestly, the only prayer that anyone can offer is you and that would be for forgiveness for disbelief and in that case we all know you are not interested.

    If there is any prayer anyone else can offer for you is that you suddenly see the light and recite Shehada before your inevitable death be it tomorrow or in ten years. Remember Christopher, you can die on the way to the oncologist's office just as easily as you can once you ingest the agents derived from the resources Allah provided you to buy a little more time.

    Salaam wa alaikum wa ramahtullah wa barakathu. May Allah have mercy on us all.


    Margaret Sowid, RN, BSN
    Bisbee AZ

    August 17, 2010 at 12:28 am |
  5. Becky Rozman

    Wow. I just started reading "The Portable Atheist" last night...Coincidence? Or a sign from God? You be the judge. I know what my Christian friends would say, but I just love a good coincidence. And I, too, have been trying to meditate on the phrase, "Why not me?" as I deal with the death of a close friend who was killed in a horrible car accident. I willingly read some Christian literature that a friend gave me lately, but I feel that Hitchens' writing speaks to me more. Michael Douglas has also been diagnosed with a tumor in his throat. All we can do is wish them well, and appreciate their work.

    August 16, 2010 at 7:24 pm |
  6. Susan Crawford

    Hitchens has lived his life in the ways he chose. Why should anyone in their right mind think that for one second, this brilliant, insightful, witty, wry and brilliant man will suddenly choose to die on any but his own terms? He has always given a lovely light – often an irritating, provoking light, but always a light that came from the essence of his beliefs and was true to his personal ethos.

    And that never included a belief in a deity. So be it.

    All I know is that the world has always needed the contrarians, the free-thinkers, the ones who challenge, the ones who arouse discussion and force others to re-examine themselves and their beliefs. The world has always needed the wordsmiths with style and courage. The world has always needed the passionate and persuasive. Hitchens fills plenty of those needs.

    He has always given off a lovely light – and now it's just as luminous. Hitchens, I send you thanks for your work.

    August 16, 2010 at 3:54 pm |
  7. Donny Pauling

    I have read one of CH's books, watched numerous debates in which he has participated, and have generally enjoyed listening to him share ideas. But since I'm still a Christian, I'll be praying for him. Cancer is a horrible way to go, and although Chris rejects the existence of God, I am confident God does not wish to reject him.

    Should Chris leave us, the world will be a little less colorful.

    August 16, 2010 at 11:43 am |

    This is crazy "CHRISTIANS" you pick up a book that has been revised at the latest 1911. Now you say all these thing and have all this faith but where did it start. Do you do search for your history it's there, written, just waiting for you to find it. The bible don't even have all of it's books because well lookit up. Find truth "TRUTH" cause you get killed by the athiest on here cause of your faith in a flawed book. PS EUROPEAN CHRISTIANY ISN'T THE WAY THAT STARTED AT THE COUNCIL OF NICEAN 325 A.D. Search for the truth cause it's not in a blue eyed saviour that Michelanglo painted yes he was the first man to paint our saviour a white.

    August 15, 2010 at 4:56 am |
  9. Zen

    Chris, if you read this, please know that I am deeply saddened by your illness and deeply moved by your remarkable courage and ability to speak to this experience and delineate how it really is for you. You speak so eloquently to the reality of dealing with serious illness. I wish you great strength and fortitude in this time. I hope that you have got kind and listening loved ones around you for support and love, for you deserve to be treated with care, acceptance, and compassion in this time.

    August 13, 2010 at 6:06 pm |
  10. Rolf Ernst

    Personally, as an atheist myself I must say that of course any sentient being's suffering is somewhat of a tragedy and Hitchens's is no exception. That being said I object to the hoopla of 'him having touched many people's lives'. Hitchens has perpetuated his brand of atheism which somehow attributes all the evils of the world to religion – something I fail to subscribe to and I am sorry he has branded most of us atheists (I prefer naturalists) as some sort of vicious condescending jerks. While I agree with him that religious beliefs are at best silly I still respect those that culturally succumb to the enticement of 'joining the crowd of believers'.
    Atheism in itself is not a religion at all and believe we atheists ourselves disagree on many matters not pertaining to a deity. God is simply not a central theme in our lives. Hitchens for some reason has made it his life's purpose to somehow persecute and ridicule those caught up in superstitions. However, there are a lot of humanist causes much more worthy of our attention and for some reason he has decided to largely dismiss those causes of their values.

    I fear I cannot put Hitches on the atheist's pedestal that I think he would like to see himself. He is just another human being like the rest of us, with all of our shortcomings.

    August 13, 2010 at 4:28 pm |
  11. Art Palmer

    The person mentally endowed with a high I.Q. might have a tendency toward atheism, but that could result from a choice to be so centered in one's self that 'spiritual' growth takes a backseat. Intellectual surety can have a way of choking off possibility of further personal transformation. Without fighting against inner change, might revelations come to the one who quietly feels and appreciates the beauty of, and compassion for, all life, whether biological or botanical. Take, for example, a young and quite normally self-centered person who, through hardship, or immersion into the beauty of the fine arts, or the gift of motherhood / fatherhood, or loneliness-inspired looking within, feels a seed of awakening, and therefrom experiences waves of increasing compassion and caring – maybe first for the immediate family, then as the years roll by perhaps spreading to the community and eventually, rarely but occasionally, all of known existence (the mystics might include non-existence). To me, this is the real spiritual or religious experience: compassionate love circumfluent everywhere, centered nowhere.

    August 12, 2010 at 6:57 pm |
  12. JudyKostezky

    I know what you mean christopher about there being a stage probably when you aren't yourself because of the treatment but I wish with all my heart that you could reverse this cursed disease by some way of fighting it. there are too many people in the world who aren't worth half of what you are. I will say God bless but not in a religious way. I wish that the whatever shapes our ends could be accessed by you and that you woulkd live to inspire me further and above all that you would bloody well live. Live Christopther so you could have your 3 score years and ten.

    August 11, 2010 at 2:51 am |
  13. MS

    Why such unbelief and hatred towards God? Did something happen to cause this?

    August 10, 2010 at 8:25 am |
    • M

      u serious? 0_0

      August 15, 2010 at 4:24 am |
  14. LL

    Proof that God exists is all around you... the universe and everything and everyone in it...the fact that you are alive and breathing is also proof...if you genuinely want to see for yourself whether God is real why don't you ask God to show you that He's real...because God will reveal Himself to those who genuinely seek Him...

    August 10, 2010 at 2:43 am |
    • PeterM


      Your argument FAILs in logic, semantics, and a few other things that I am too polite to mention at this time.

      If you feel you have reached this recording in error, please check your post and try your point again.

      August 10, 2010 at 3:09 am |
    • Sue

      "because God will reveal Himself to those who genuinely seek Him...".................yeah, and so will Harry Potter. 7 books say he exists.

      August 16, 2010 at 12:43 pm |
  15. MS

    At this point I guess we just have to agree to disagree! Thats Ok like I said I have not the ability to convince you that God is real and Jesus died for our sins, no more than you can convince me that I am wasting my time. One day the truth will be known.

    Love you guys

    August 9, 2010 at 1:02 pm |
    • NL

      You see, I'll admit that all I need is some level of real proof that God exists, and I will believe. Most atheists would. You, however, seem to be saying that nothing, no amount of evidence, could ever convince you that God does not exist. Now, tell me, which of us is being open-minded, and which of us delusional?

      August 10, 2010 at 1:54 am |
    • PeterM

      I, for one, do not want you to waste your time.
      Some people could say that the whole point of atheism is to stop wasting time on lies and madness, but that would be an incomplete answer at best, but I offer it with good intentions.

      To be honest, I would rather see you firm up your ideas about what you believe.
      Either they will stand up to the closest scrutiny and therefore strengthen your faith beyond what you have now, which you might like, or they will not stand up to scrutiny and you will have to admit to yourself that something is "fishy in Denmark", and investigate further in order to confirm your initial findings.
      Love is not dependent upon any religious belief. If you would worship love, go ahead. I've heard of worse religions.
      If I worshipped the ground you walk on, where would it lead me? Into a pit?

      August 10, 2010 at 3:26 am |
1 2 3
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.