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. anello

    what a waste of a great mind. because he could not feel the spiritual presence of God or chose to ignore it he spent his life and considerable intelligence justifying his position, which ultimately did nothing to change people's views but served as s sort of cathartic exercise for him and his followers. his final breath has not yet been drawn, and as such I pray that God will categorically speak to him such that he sincerely admits and asks for forgiveness for his sins and that he needs a savior, Jesus Christ the Lord, to redeem him.

    August 6, 2010 at 10:47 am |
    • Kenster

      I think you may be failing to note the possibility that your "merciful" god might have mercy upon the man regardless of your imperfect and log-filled viewpoint.

      August 6, 2010 at 3:05 pm |
  2. Greg

    Hitchens' brand of religious intolerance did as much to divide people with ideological narcissism as any religion's interpretation of God has. He knew that his vitriol would not garner him much attention in the already religiously lukewarm-cold UK so he moved to the US with his message. If he would have just left it at him being an atheist and believing that religion has adverse effects in the public arena then his arguments would have been more palatable. Instead, he was overly vociferous with his hate of religion and became a form of the monster that he was speaking against, a fundamentalist atheist.

    I don't wish him any harm and nor do I think that this is a personal judgment from God. We live in a world where disease and illness can strike anyone so he was no more susceptible to this than the most ardent believer. However he goes about coping with this all I have to say is a sincere "good luck."

    August 6, 2010 at 9:32 am |
    • Kenster

      An anti-religious religious intolerance? Are you serious? I believe the man is a crime-fighter. A secular crime-fighter doing what he sees as a possibly effective way of fighting for truth, justice, and a good glass of scotch. That he is dedicated to adhering to reality in no way makes him religious, in my opinion.

      August 6, 2010 at 3:11 pm |
  3. Kennedy

    I'm sorry for this man, and I will respect his wishes and "think" him goodwill.

    I will never understand for the life of me why people without religion are so offended by people with it. For the most part, religion is a force of good. The media has just highlighted the extreme circumstances of religion being used to do evil.. but every day, in the name of God, Allah, Yahwey.. whatever people do GREAT things to help their fellow man.

    If you don't believe fine, most of us don't care. But stop trying to convince us that our faith in a higher power is bad, and that we are ignorant. When we die, if there is nothing.. no harm done. When you die, if there is.. well.. you may have some 'splanin to do.

    August 6, 2010 at 8:48 am |
  4. Amanda

    I'll pray for whoever the heck I want.

    That said, I'm sorry for what this guy is going through. Nobody deserves cancer.

    August 6, 2010 at 8:38 am |
    • Bob

      Which leaves me to think for you.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:15 pm |
  5. Ron Carter

    I don't know Mr. Hitchens or his background, I just want to say that everything in life is about choices. If you choose to believe in God so be it. If you choose not to believe in God so be it. I never understood why we as human beings are always trying to make people follow their way of living. The choice you make carries it's own destiny, so let the next guy decide what he chooses to believe. Personally I believe in God, but if I met Mr. Hitchens and he respected me as a fellow human being with different ideas about life I could sit and have dinner with him or even consider him a friend. We have to stop judging each other based on choices we make instead of the character of the person. Of course there are bad people who use religion, race, gender, etc to advance their own agenda, but that is the exception not the rule. The fact is this, we are headed towards the End of Days regardless of believing or not believing in God. Why we as human beings can be so petty and selfish about the gift of life never ceases to amaze me. We have to stop living by labels and realize that we are all on this same planet and no one is going anywhere, so we need to be able to exist as a family. I expect what I have said to be ripped apart by some people and that saddens me. But as I said life is about choices. Everyone please enjoy your life.

    August 6, 2010 at 7:23 am |
    • k5150

      Well said Ron Carter. Religion was created by men for men. Anymore it seems that most Christians forget that we are to leave the judging of others to God. We are love everyone, including those that don't believe in Jesus or believe differently. God loves Mr. Hitchens just as much as He loves the most devote Christian. I will pray for Mr. Hitchens recovery and his salvation.

      August 6, 2010 at 8:39 am |
    • Luke

      Ron Carter – Well, Ron, maybe you should read his book. You seem to be a reasonable person that believes everyone should treat each other nicely. His book is not what you think. When I completely God is Not Great, I found it to be more of a history book, pointing out the terrible atrocities done in the of god. While he does give credit where credit is due, perhaps getting his point of view might explain why many of us fall into his camp and put him on a pedestal. I can't force you to do so, but of all of the so called believers I debate with, you seem to be one of the few that would actually dedicate a few hours worth of reading simply to get someone's truly amazing and intriguing point of view on the world. Go ahead...grab God is Not Great. You may actually enjoy it.

      August 6, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • Bob

      k5150, God loves Christopher so much he will condemn him to eternal torture for not believing fantastical and unprovable stories. He will have Christopher burn forever for finite crimes. He will watch with indifference as Christopher weeps for mercy for not being able to magically discern what fables to believe.

      Just for the record, Christianity is a belief that God impregnated a woman with himself so that he could find a loophole for a rule he made when a woman and man ate from a tree that he told them not to. Furthermore, he kicked these two people out for falling for a trap that he created, knowing they'd fail. He then rises himself up from the grave to say "See, I told you so. LOL."

      How is that at all reasonable? How can any rational person believe such a story without evidence.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:14 pm |
    • TB


      A more thorough understanding of the Christian faith (or Jewish for that matter) would lead you to conclude that no one knows if Mr Hitchens will be condemed. Also, the Bible provides very few details on the actual state of hell, to which you are alluding. Depending on the transation you're using, hell is mentioned as few as 14 times (NIV). Conversely, Heaven is mentioned 550 times and love 551 (thereabouts). Meanwhile, Jesus reserves His strongest judgement and harshest words for the Pharisees (ruling religious elite) because they were misleading people in their faith.

      The focus of the Bible is God's love for His creation. It teaches that God is righteous, and without fault. He created humans with free will, and knowing they would could choose wrong, provided the method for atonement even before He created humans (see John 1:1). You've got your time line wrong because Jesus' coming and purpose was set at the beginning, not sometime after the fall of Adam and Eve.

      August 7, 2010 at 1:35 am |
  6. Siraaj Muhammad

    Religion doesn't kill people anymore than does guns, democracy, money, and power – these are all simply tools that can be used or misused for good and evil respectively.

    Claiming that religion is the cause of so many wars ignores the cause of the rest of them, that mankind doesn't need religion to cause wars, but merely as a scapegoat to legitimize secular interests (money, imperialism, etc). It's a lazy, cliched, and maybe even trendy thought process, but it simply has very little basis in reality.

    August 6, 2010 at 6:26 am |
    • Amanda

      Thank you Siraaj... the vast majority of "religious wars" were quests for land and power and anyone who believes otherwise is a moron.

      All you have to do is take a collge level history course and they will TELL you and SHOW YOU that.

      Religion, while it has caused wars, is typically the scapegoat for a leader to conduct his own business, that actually has nothing to with religion. It's a smart way to control the masses and validate a war. Even THE CRUSADES were not strictly religious based..

      August 6, 2010 at 8:44 am |
    • SR

      Siraaj Muhammad: It is funny that you talk about religion and the followers of religion as two separate things. As if people who believe in Islam and kills infidels are somehow making up some stuff that is not there in Islam. Hahaha.

      Have you and others who claim to believe in this separation ever thought about there may be something in the teaching of Islam that might be the problem? Like this man below:

      "As I went from my adolescent to my teen years, I and many others like me began to have doubts. Can a supposedly all compassionate and all forgiving divinity only like one type of human and have created a place of eternal damnation for those who are different? "

      Why is Islam and islamists totally devoid of self-introspection?

      If people are killing millions in the name of islam and in fact, we go back and find hundreds of verses (108 by last count) that advocate the killing of infidels, there may be something wrong with Muhammad himself?

      This is why I and many others are skeptical that muhammad can be a prophet when he advocates killing for whatever reason that might find justifiable. I, as a human being, find that unjustifiable on any ground. I am sure you too will agree.

      When are we going to see a reform of the Koran (kind of like the Protestant Reformation) and in Islam from "moderates" like you?

      August 6, 2010 at 10:05 am |
    • Luke

      Amanda – Seriously? Did you just argue that the Crusades were not fully religously based? Let's get a simple definition for The Crusades using four independent sources via Google. Ok...found them. I've consolidated into a one liner:

      The Crusades were a series of religiously sanctioned military campaigns waged by much of Latin Christian Europe, particularly the Franks of France and the Holy Roman Empire.

      So you are arguing that a religiously sanctions military waged by a Christian Group, were not..uh...strictly religiously motivated? Where did you take said history course? Is the school accredited? Is it funded by a Christian group attempting to change history. Me thinks so.

      August 6, 2010 at 10:09 am |
    • Sam

      You mean there's another reason that men and women walk into a school yard and blow themselves up? There are other factors that motivate people to murder innocent children indiscriminately? Cliche'? Really?

      August 6, 2010 at 11:11 am |
    • Amanda

      You clearly missed my entire point.

      Just because something is called a religious war doesn't mean the people fundiong it are not motivated by other means. Did you even bother to read my post?

      If you've ever taken a Medieval History course in any sort of upper level institution you will know for a fact that the rulers of the time who supported the Crusades did so for territorial and monetary reasons. Most of them barely recognized the Pope as an authority higher than themselves.

      Think before you speak.

      August 6, 2010 at 11:16 am |
    • Siraaj Muhammad

      SR, Luke, Sam, and others,

      My comment was about religion generally, not Islam specifically. My point remains that many wars and genocides occur outside the realm of religion as well. Was not George W Bush's imperative to spread freedom and democracy to the world? What about the Cold War? WWI and WWII? The Civil War? The War for Independence? Were these all religious wars as well? How about Gulf War I and II?

      I'm not saying religion doesn't play a role in creating wars – my point is if the wrong leadership with its own biases or desires comes to power, it will bring it to bear on others. That war could be for oil, and it can be justified in religious terms 😉

      About religious reformation, my take on that is if you believe it's from God, and it's good for all of time, then you don't need to reform the religion. You may, however, need to reform the way religious leadership brings it to bear on others, and how they use or abuse it for their own ends. However, if a text is clear on a matter, and clear on the context of implementation, and you believe it's from God, I don't see justification for changing the ruling and opposing it.

      SR, you asked about the verses of "killing infidels". I don't blame you for being alarmed when you read that it contains verses about "killing infidels", but I wonder if those same people mentioned the verses that preceded those verses? And those that come after? Verses which state:

      "...if they cease hostilities, there can be no [further] hostility..."

      The Qur'aan was revealed over 23 years, and Allah provided guidance to the believers in how to deal with situations as they came up – during that time, the Muslims were an oppressed minority for 13 years and not allowed to fight, and the last 10 years, they created their own state, and were attacked numerous times in their state. They formed truces with the people around them, including their aggressors, and didn't go on the offensive against their neighbors and the pagan Makkans until those truces were violated (feel free to check any neutral academic resources for details).

      It is during these wars these verses are revealed, and permission is allowed for Muslims to fight, and the basis for rules of engagement are laid out in the Qur'aan. Those rules do not simply say, "Kill disbelievers," they lay out the rules for when fighting can occur, and when it can stop. Never ever in the Qur'aan does it say that it starts because they are disbelievers, infidels, or what-have-you. Every single verse regarding battle is in the context of a situation which arises, and not religious discrimination.

      If you want to make the case intelligently an academically with the Qur'aan, then you have to address:

      1. The verse itself
      2. The verse before and after it that are relevant
      3. The context of the verse (because Muslims derive contemporary application based on situational relevance)

      I've yet to see this done, but would be happy to read anything of academic, peer-reviewed merit that demonstrates otherwise.


      August 6, 2010 at 12:28 pm |
    • SR

      Siraaj and other Christian Apologists for Islam:

      You still have not answered my question. "Why is there such "blind faith" in ONE BOOK"? Where is RATIONALITY?

      Why are Christians/Islamists alone responsible for such horrendous amount of killings (in the 10's of millions) in the name of your respective religions in the last 1400 years?"

      Think about it.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:44 pm |
    • Siraaj Muhammad


      For the same reasons that secularists and atheists are responsible for 10s of millions of deaths – because they believed through their value system they were justified in doing so.

      As for the book – we don't believe it's the work of a man, we believe it's the work of God, and as such, our job is to understand what God wants from us based on the explanation He's provided. If you believe in God and His Perfection, then the rest follows rationally. If you don't believe, then your thought process also follows rationally as well – it's really just a matter of what assumptions you enter into the discussion with.

      If it's up to me and you to determine right and wrong independently, then we can negotiate the terms with others until we come to consensus, or until the strongest group among us imposes its will either rhetorically or physically. If you believe that right belongs to God, then you defer to Him and His Judgment. I'd consider myself among the latter group.


      August 6, 2010 at 4:40 pm |
    • Sanity Claws

      Will you then define reality for us? Did your "god" command you to come and comment in a discussion? Because I don't think he gave you very good resources to work with, there.

      August 6, 2010 at 7:50 pm |
    • Siraaj Muhammad

      Sanity Claws,

      Nah, he didn't. I just happened to read the story about Hitchens, caught a glimpse of the discussion and thought to add my own opinions, experiences, and conclusions into the discussion. Hopefully, there are mature, secure people willing to engage in an online discussion, exchanging ideas without resorting to vitriol and ad hominems.

      Admittedly, my faith in that is rather weak.


      August 7, 2010 at 1:01 am |
    • SR

      Your justification in Islamists (since Mohammad's time) and Christians (of yore), who killed tens of millions of innocent people in the name of Allah and Jesus is that Secularists and Communists did the same. That is horribly weak. Is this what your religion teaches you? Kill because someone else is killing. What about That man's right to live? How can you kill him for his beliefs just like Mohmmad did? Isn't that horrible? How many people did Jesus kill? None.
      You still have not answered my basic question:
      When is your religion going to turn "rational"?

      I am tired of your half truths and lies. Repeating over and over again from your own little book doesn't mean a thing.

      Give us some rational explanations please.

      August 7, 2010 at 9:07 am |
    • Siraaj Muhammad


      Perhaps I'm not communicating my point as effectively as I would like, and I apologize for any misunderstanding. I did not state that Muslims or Christians are justified in killing nonbelievers in the name of religion because others have done so in the name of acquiring money, land, women, and other forms of power.

      My point is that the argument for disbelief in a religion because they "start wars" or "have caused the death of millions" is a weak reason for disbelief. Fine, then also toss power, money, women, fame, land, and by the way, freedom and democracy out the door because wars are often started for such purposes as well.

      As for the Prophet, there are no instances in his life in which he targeted and killed someone due to their disbelief. Every single instance discussing war and fighting disbelievers does so in the context of a battle that is taking place. Review your history – the Muslims under Muhammad signed numerous peace treaties with nonMuslim groups, both within and outside of Madinah, the city from which he ruled.

      When fighting occurred and was commanded, it was always either in defense of the state, in response to a breach of a treaty, or due to impending danger. I invite you to show me one verse in the Qur'aan, or one instance in which the Muslims went to war with a group of people because their religion was different from their own.

      Throughout history, the only theocracy to tolerate religious pluralism has been under the Muslim Caliphate (which no longer exists). All other existing theocracies were intolerant of other religions. If I'm wrong in any of my statements, then produce the evidence, and I would be happy to read up on it and educate myself.


      August 7, 2010 at 6:26 pm |
  7. Fr33d0mhawk

    The problem comes into play when religion asks us to use faith over reason, or faith over our own innate morality. People commit crimes in the name of God they would never commit otherwise. God was created by elitists to control the gullible. This does not mean there might not be some grand creator, but the creator most certainly did not tell Moses to murder 3000 of his own people in Exodus, nor does God lift a finger to change the natural course of the universe.

    August 6, 2010 at 5:24 am |
    • Amanda

      Freedomhawk.. he didn't have to.. he designed the natural course of the universe.

      And the OT are stories.. they were written with a purpose by the prophets of that time.

      The NT Follows Christ and his mission, which was peaceful and always promoted love one neighbor and oneself.

      August 6, 2010 at 8:41 am |
    • Bob

      Amanda, you're cherry picking what you do and don't believe. Didn't Jesus say that whatever is in the Old Testament will stil remain true?

      The problem with people of religious faith, in my experience, is that they have convinced themselves that anything negative is wrong and anything positive is right. What about the story of how God killed thousands of people because he didn't want a census taken. What is the moral to the story there? Don't collect information?

      Let me ask you a sincere question. How do you know the stories of Jesus are true. Look at local stories of Paul Bunyon and Davy Crokett. Look at the biography of L Ron Hubbard. Which claims he was breaking broncos at the age of three.

      Embellishment happens. Even in the 1950's. And people still buy into it.

      August 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "the OT are stories.. they were written with a purpose by the prophets of that time.

      The NT Follows Christ and his mission, which was peaceful and always promoted love one neighbor and oneself."

      Amanda! Be of good cheer. The New Testament is just as much a story, as the Old Testament. The purpose of the New Testament was to "prove" Jesus was the messiah and begin the Christian religion. You don't have to pick and choose! They are both equally hokum! Cheers!

      *I always feel good when I help someone understand the bible*

      August 6, 2010 at 4:39 pm |
    • CatholicMom

      The New Testament is hidden in the Old Testament, and the Old is fulfilled in the New!

      August 6, 2010 at 4:54 pm |
  8. GodIsForImbeciles

    Bertie, Jeeves, Lord Emsworth and The Empress of Blandings are all pulling for you, Hitch!

    August 6, 2010 at 5:09 am |
  9. Gail

    Mr. Hitchens, Many members of my family on both sides have had cancer, including both my parents. Even so, and even though I have MS, there is no way I can know what you are going through. The terminology of war to describe what one goes through to survive of cancer may not be the best, but for lack of a better word it is indeed a fight...Better than feeling the helplessness and passivity while receiving chemo. I won't offer any facile reassurances but if you have any thoughts that because your father died of this condition, you will too, please do your best to reject them. Each case is completely different and yours is your own, along with your resolve and the healthy constitution of which you write and which is evident. Just know that you have enriched thousands of us with your clear, critical thinking and luminous writing, and that it continues to have a profound impact on society. We offer you the only thing we can, all the support and encouragement you can stand. You don't have to believe it or not believe it, but I believe you have many productive, happy years ahead and that you will indeed see your children married. The very best of wishes to you, with gratitude.

    August 6, 2010 at 4:05 am |
  10. Amrullah Yousafzai, Margalla Hills

    I'm not a Christian,but I've wondered why Hitchens hasn't changed his first name, given its religious significance.

    August 6, 2010 at 3:54 am |
    • Fr33d0mhawk

      Amrullah, why? So, he is named after a pretty decent guy that taught non-violence and to help the poor. Besides, Christian has no significance to him. It would be like being upset at being called Nick after Saint Nick, you know, Santa Clause.

      August 6, 2010 at 5:21 am |
    • Luke

      I too carry a biblically important name, but it wasn't the intention of my mother. She just liked the way it sounds and it has a certain uniqueness to it. Don't run into too many Lukes.

      August 6, 2010 at 6:50 am |
    • Peter F

      Just Cool Hand or Skywalker, hehe.

      August 6, 2010 at 7:23 pm |
    • Luke

      Peter F – Or Duke. Those rednecks from Hazard county were pretty badass.

      August 7, 2010 at 10:50 am |
  11. Calum

    Hitchens is as open to god as he is to anyone else. If god chose to speak he would listen to him, and no doubt have something choice to say back, as children often do to their parents.

    August 6, 2010 at 3:03 am |
  12. Bev

    I am sorry you have cancer. I am a believer but I would not want anyone to suffer and die of a terrible disease. You said that if praying gives me comfort, I may do it. I am sure to join with many other sincere and loving people to pray that God will give you strength and courage in this time of illness. Please forgive the hatefulness of believers who speak out against you. I apologize for anyone who has offended you. And please be open to any small bit of revelation from God. I believe He loves all people, even (maybe especially) atheists.

    August 6, 2010 at 2:33 am |
    • Peter F

      I would venture about as far to say that the "believers" spreading hate and anger instead of love are not believers at all. We may all disagree with Christopher Hitchens, but we can still show him love and compassion... Wasn't that our mission in the first place?

      August 6, 2010 at 7:22 pm |
  13. MARY

    I love Christopher, sure enjoyed his book "God is not Great " love his intellectual, free thinking, point of view.
    wish you the best.

    August 6, 2010 at 2:29 am |
    • Kennedy

      I've never read the book, so I can't comment too thoroughly.. but I will say this:

      Many who claim to be such FREE and PROGRESSIVE OPEN MINDED THINKERS, treat those who believe in God as inferiors and don't care to UNDERSTAND why religion is important to many people, or to acknowledge that just because you don't believe in God doesn't mean that He/She/It doesn't exist.

      Open Minded my bum.

      August 6, 2010 at 8:51 am |
    • Luke

      I hear CAPITALIZING random WORDS when making AN arguments MAKES YOU look smart and GETS your POINT across BETTER THAN simply making a concise point of VIEW using REASONABLE debating STYLES.

      August 6, 2010 at 10:00 am |
    • David Johnson


      Better yet, capitalize all the letters. It makes the atheists think god is posting the comment.

      August 6, 2010 at 4:30 pm |
    • Nick

      RELIGIOUS PEOPLE HAVE BELIEFS THAT ARE INTELLECTUALLY DEVOID AND UNPROVABLE. Yes, the caps definitely make that more powerful. And the faithful should listen, because as stated previously, only god has the ability to type in all caps.

      August 9, 2010 at 4:24 pm |
  14. David

    God can heal you. God can give you light.

    August 6, 2010 at 1:56 am |
    • David Johnson

      Evidently god can't cure stupid, huh dave?

      August 6, 2010 at 9:31 am |
  15. Ichiro

    I wish all good health to Mr. Hitchins and even more comfort. I only wish medical researches found better than chemotherapy to use before now. Can only hope to find better soon.

    August 6, 2010 at 1:31 am |
    • sparknut

      Ah, a wish is as good as a prayer.

      August 6, 2010 at 8:55 am |
    • David Johnson


      You said, "Ah, a wish is as good as a prayer."

      Yep, wishing upon a star, is a good substitute, for people who just don't have time to pray to god.

      August 6, 2010 at 4:43 pm |
  16. Claire C.

    You've been a clear voice in a morass of folklore, and I will always consider you a great thinker, teacher, and compassionate being. Your dedication to truth and reason, and your almost Zen-koan style that figuratively whacks one on the head have been useful to so many in coming to think critically and appreciate this beautiful world for the Natural place it is. Nothing supernatural is needed to explain this most excellent place, and you are a bright light in it.

    August 6, 2010 at 1:16 am |
  17. Diana

    Chritopher, I had no idea you were an athiest but I sure understand. There are so many wars cause of relligion it sickens me. But I always liked you and so do Anderson. I'm absolutely horrified by the fact that you can leave us. But I wouldn't want you to suffer either. I just wish you would-can proof them all wrong and get better....you must believe it too....otherwise you would not go through the painfull chemo.
    I beleive in Angels or some other super naturals...as I went there after my surgery...do whatever you have to....just watch this bloody disease...don't judge it. Dont't give it any power...chase it away from your body. "Stay with us Chrisopher" Love sincerely Diana

    August 6, 2010 at 1:01 am |
  18. thes33k3r

    Christopher Hitchens is a great human being. He has fought to make the world a better place by combating the intellectual dishonesty that goes by the name of religion. He, along with others, continue to demonstrate that it is imperative that we question the authenticity of all religious and supernatural claims. Religion is the most dangerous and divisive mode of thought on the planet. I recommend "god is not great" for those who are interested in some light reading.

    In case you actually read this: Hitch, as a fellow non-believer, I want you to know that I wish you well and I will not be praying for you. Thank you thus far for the books, the debates, the interviews, the articles and the willingness to stand up for reason.

    August 6, 2010 at 12:12 am |
    • Rafael Izaguirre

      well said...I can only wish Mr. Hitches the best, he is a great human being.

      August 9, 2010 at 5:10 am |
  19. Lisa

    All my love to you and your family, Christopher. We're all very lucky to have you on this earth and will not take kindly to your leaving us anytime soon. You've touched so many people's lives. Now its your turn to sit back and let us return the favor.

    August 5, 2010 at 11:21 pm |
    • Ken

      You say of him "You've touched so many people's lives". In the long run, this may not be such a good thing. If you've misled people and taught them untruths and they believed you, then you are responsible for them as well. I'm afraid that this is the case with this man. He not only was an unbeliever, he shouted out to the world his unbelief and many listened, including yourself. I would hope that this had not been the case. Regardless, I would hope that he would not have been strickened with such a horrid disease. I can only hope and pray that he would be restored and not suffer.

      August 7, 2010 at 7:53 pm |
    • Nick

      Ken, you naively believe that your religion is the only true religion. You irritatingly try to assert your spiritual superiority over us godless heathens who prefer to read and learn rather than blindly accept and proselytize. Christopher Hitchen's writings have done far more good to the world than any ever written in the Bible, Koran, or any other "holy" book, because unlike those, his writings require use of that pinkish gray thing in your head.

      August 9, 2010 at 4:17 pm |
  20. Luke

    Chris, if you're reading this. I hate seeing you like this. Just breaks my heart and makes my stomach turn. You've lived a meaningful life and impacted me in ways that words fail. I suppose, the best way to say it is that you aided in setting me free. I promise to carry on your thoughts to the best of my knowledge and abilities.

    August 5, 2010 at 8:23 pm |
    • riverrunner

      Agreed. He is right of course. Cancer indiscriminately strikes a percentage of the population. Praying to a stop sign or jug of milk returns the same results as praying to God.

      and Catholic Mom you have nothing of value to say here so leave Chris and Luke alone.

      August 5, 2010 at 8:44 pm |
    • Arnold Friend

      Luke, you seem to be an enlightened Mensa type guy so I'll ask you. Do atheists view suicide as wrong, and if so why?

      August 6, 2010 at 12:18 pm |
    • Luke

      Arnold Friend – I can't speak for all. I can only speak for myself and purge my own opinion on the matter. It depends. While the loss of life and a loved one due to suicide is tragic, I fall into the camp that thinks assisted suicide is sometimes necessary at a certain point and certainly not a decision that a religious person should make for me.

      Last week, a friend of mine jumped from the 14th story of his apt building on Upper East Side. He had been out of work for 2 years, but recently got a new job. He has a lovely wife and a pack of friends. There was no reason for any of us to suspect something tearing him up from the inside out. And last week, he was found face down on 83rd Street and York Ave. It was not an accident and no alcohol involved. We're were all distraught but have been celebrating his life. Obviously he had problems he kept secret. Perhaps if he sat me down and talked them out, he would be here today. Sadly, we're left with unanswered questions. He left no note nor evidence to help us understand why. No closure.

      What do I think? I think it has nothing to do with religion. Are we supposed to inject the entire Christian Faith into this situation, or just say that we wish he were alive so we can have a beer after work again? His wife is not religious and has been coping by talking about the good times with our mutual friends.

      August 6, 2010 at 2:39 pm |
    • mary

      You are all nuts!!! Nobody forces anyone to believe anything. However, every human being on the planet has ingrained in them to believe in someone, greater then themselves. Who do you think put that there???? Obviously this man has `been carrying around a heartache his whole life regarding his mother. I will pray for him!!!! If you want to believe in your own greatness and, all knowing, GOOD LUCK!!! Remember when your time comes I know who your heart will cry out for. Happens all the time.

      August 7, 2010 at 2:20 pm |
    • Selfish Gene

      Mary. You are wasting time

      August 9, 2010 at 12:12 pm |
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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.