One of the most annoying arguments I come across in the Christian vs. Atheist debate is “Hitler was an atheist”, and probably many atheists would agree with me on that one. I think this really bothers me because it completely neglects the fact that people have killed in the name of the Judeo-Christian god. It implies that those without the Judeo-Christian god have an easier time committing atrocious acts. The utter disregard for historical facts also really rubs me the wrong way. I usually respond by pointing to a picture of a “gott mit uns (god with us)” Nazi belt buckle or a quote of Hitler’s where he mentions his belief. A typical response to that is something along the lines of “he wasn’t a true Christian because of his actions” or “he just pretended to be Christian” and this is a logical fallacy called the “No true Scotsman”. The fallacy is an attempt to retain an unreasoned assertion by declaring there is a “true” form of a certain group or belief. Another example of this was a time when I said something about Phil Robertson of Duck Dynasty and I was told on Twitter he wasn’t a “True Christian” because he killed animals, that Christians don’t kill god’s creatures. I tried to point out they were making this fallacy and they essentially gave me a “LA LA LA NOT LISTENING” style response. I’m pretty sure good ol’ Phil would have said they weren’t a “True Christian” too.
Besides the fact that there have been and are some pretty awful Christian people, I think many Christians don’t understand that as an atheist I don’t think that all Christians are bad. Just because Hitler was a Christian doesn’t mean I think all of them would want to commit genocide on an entire race of people. I also don’t think every Christian is a backwards and idiotic bigot like Phil Robertson. I may have many problems with certain Christian leaders and issues with the ideology, but it would be ridiculous for me to hate all Christians. Even though certain Christians don’t represent the entire population of them, and no single one does, doesn’t mean we can’t point to them as examples of what’s wrong with the religion. The same goes for other religions and cultures as well. There are probably many Christians I may agree with on certain things, just like I don’t always agree with every single atheist.
What disturbs me is when I get the sense from the Christian that says something like “Hitler and Stalin were atheists” actually thinks that there is a direct connection with their actions and lack of belief, otherwise they wouldn’t feel a need to mention it. It makes me wonder if they think I and other atheists could possibly be as evil as he was, that also feels implied with their need to mention it. “Hitler was Christian” is mainly uttered by an atheist in response to the “he was an atheist” argument and they are usually rational enough to know his religious belief was not the direct reason for what he did. At least speaking for myself that’s what I think and I hope most atheists out there are rational enough to recognize that. I don’t want people to make assumptions about me because of my lack of belief, so I always try to not make assumptions about people with beliefs just because of the many bad apples.