In this sense, we can't help but agree with Christopher Hitchens. Religion does poison everything. And he certainly made that point clearly in his debate with Frank Turek. Christopher emoted, "Isn't it as plain as could be that those who commit the most callous, the most cruel, the most brutal, the most indiscriminate atrocities of all, do so precisely because they believe they have divine permission?" In many cases, we must humbly admit, he is correct. However, wasn't Pol Pot cruel and indiscriminate? Wasn't Joseph Stalin callous and brutal? Stalin was also indiscriminate. He copiously murdered people of all religions.
Richard Dawkins, in The God Delusion, suggests that while these men were indeed atheists, it wasn't their atheism that drove them to commit such atrocities. Stalin's atheism may not have led him to murder had it not been that his atheism first led him to marginalize the masses. His atheism led to self-supremacy and the marginalization of others, which in turn led to his genocidal acts. In his Contribution to Critique of Hegel's Philosophy of Right, Karl Marx described religion as the "opiate of the masses." Supremacist thoughts would come easily to someone convinced that everyone else is walking around in a metaphorical drug-induced stupor. When it comes to atrocities, all religions, and even atheism, are in a dead heat.
But why is this so?
Atheist Faith â€“ The Bottom Line The bottom line is that people are not led to commit atrocities by either Atheist Faith or Religious Faith, but rather by the insidious seduction of power and the serpentine invasiveness of pride. These lead to a misguided sense of moral superiority. When an individual of one group sees himself as superior to those of another group â€” as more deserving, more enlightened, more noble â€” he is bound to subjugate outsiders mentally, verbally, and eventually physically. When religion leads people to view others as lower than themselves, then it does spoil everything.
Full article here: http://www.allaboutworldview.org/atheist-faith.htm