Following the Pope’s tour of the UK I am somewhat mystified by his statements linking the Nazi movement and Atheism. He seems to impute to Atheists the responsibility for wars and atrocities and refers to “aggressive Atheism”. Really? Who started WWI, but a gaggle of Christian nations? Then, there were the Civil War in the US, the Crusades, all the European conflicts of the past 1500 years. Of all those leading nations into war and committing atrocities the only miscreant I can think of as an out and out Atheist was Stalin, a former seminary student.
Regarding the Nazis, and Hitler in particular, the Nazi party, unlike the Soviets was not ideologically atheist, although there may well have been atheists in the party. Even Hitler was ambivalent about religion and certainly never persecuted the Church, as did Stalin.
As for Atheism being “aggressive”, again I am unclear what he means by this. Atheism surely does not conduct missionary efforts around the world trying to convert people to Atheism as do Christians, Mormons, and Muslims for their faith. True, books are written arguing the cause of Atheism but nothing like the tonnes of print extolling the virtues of organised religions, so what are Atheists doing that is so aggressive?