Got hit one more time with the "Hitler wasn't a Christian, he was an atheist, and therefore atheism leads to 10 million people being murdered" thing. I was provided the following full quote by my good friend, and fellow Biblical scholar, Dave Foda. I can't speak to his source, but I'm borrowing it from Dave.
"My feeling as a Christian points me to my Lord and Savior as a fighter. It points me to the man who once in loneliness, surrounded by a few followers, recognized these Jews for what they were and who summoned men to fight against them and who - God's truth! - was greatest not as a sufferer, but as a fighter. In boundless love as a Christian and as a man I read through the passage which tells us how the Lord at last rose in his might and seized the scourge to drive out of the Temple the brood of vipers and adders."
"How terrific was his fight against the Jewish poison. Today, after two thousand years, with deepest emotion I recognize more profoundly than ever before the fact that it was for this that He had to shed his blood upon the Cross. As a Christian, I have no duty to allow myself to be cheated, but I have the duty to be a fighter for truth and justice. And as a man, I have the duty to see to it that human society does not suffer the same catastrophic collapse as did the civilization of the ancient world some two thousand years ago - a civilization which was driven to its ruin through this same Jewish people."
~ Adolf Hitler
I understand why Christians want to distance themselves from Hitler. He was, after all, a psychopathic monster. Christians like to pretend that no one who ever did anything wrong was a Christian. "Oh, he wasn't a *real* Christian, because if he was a *real* Christian, he wouldn't have killed all those people. Yeah, about that: no. Just because someone is a *bad* Christian doesn't remove the fact that they were Christians.
And yeah, by any standard, Hitler was a bad Christian. He was utterly and completely insane and evil, but a Christian he nevertheless was. Hitler considered himself a Christian. He attended mass regularly. He received the absolution of the confessional and was given communion by the church. He believed in Jesus and accepted him as savior, which is the only requirement Jesus gives for getting into Heaven. He spoke about his Christian faith constantly.
Live with it, guys. Own him. Admit it.
But on to the second part of this essay: the atheism leads to murder thing. Atheism doesn't lead to murder. Being a psychotic madman with an unquenchable thirst for personal power leads to murder.
This is Christianity's "out" when it comes to Hitler. The man did what he did because he was a psychotic madman with an unquenchable thirst for power. Not because he was a Christian. Even I, a "raging angry liberal atheist communist motherfucker," as one person has described me, won't try to blame Hitler's insanity on Christianity, because that's just as stupid as blaming it on atheism.
Stalin's another name brought up a lot when the Christians try to pin atrocities on atheism, as are Pol Pot, Mao, and (for some reason) Fidel Castro.
Short digression. I say 'for some reason' because to my knowledge Fidel Castro has never ordered the mass murder of a significant portion of his population; besides, Fidel Castro is a practicing Catholic, not an atheist.
But back to Stalin and Pol Pot and Mao. Stalin was a non-practicing Eastern Orthodox Christian who occasionally attended mass. But more to the point, he was a psychotic madman with an unquenchable thirst for personal power. He did what he did out of hunger for power, not out of atheism.
Mao was a Buddhist. Yes, he persecuted Christians and Muslims under his regime, but he not only left the Buddhists alone, he ordered that the Chinese state support and promote Buddhism. (They still do this today.) But more to the point, he was a psychotic madman with an unquenchable thirst for personal power.
Pol Pot was also a Buddhist. And guess what, he did what he did because he was a psychotic madman with an unquenchable thirst for personal power.
So isn't it time you drop this particular line of argument? I don't know about anyone else, but I'm getting tired of refuting it.