When pressed with the bad behavior of atheist regimes, one of the oddest (and funniest) answers that the new atheists offer is that Stalin (say) erred by having his regime take on religious attributes.
Peter Hitchens puts it this way:
“And so the escape clauses come thick and fast. If atheism in practice appears at any point to have had bad consequences, that is because it took on the character of religion” (p. 155).
This is really convenient. Christians object to secularism because it makes man into a god, making Demos into an idol, and we predict that nothing good can come from it. The experiment is pressed anyway, man is made into a god, and nothing good comes from it. Then this is turned into an argument against the Christians. The reason North Korea has all those missile parades is that they are being religious. Well, of course they are. Man can’t stop being religious.
But for Christians, religious is not a term of praise. There are false religions, many of them. This argument is like making a doctor defend every form of medical treatment “that comes in bottles.”
In this chapter, Peter makes short work of this foolishness.