Years ago, Nels Timm wrote a hateful letter to the Deseret News claiming that Stalin and Mao were atheists. Recently, that sentiment was regurgitated in Doug Dansie's letter to the Deseret Morning News (Readers' Forum, June 21).

It might surprise them to know that it was Adolf Hitler who said: "Secular schools can never be tolerated because such a school has no religious instruction and a general moral instruction without a religious foundation is built on air; consequently, all character training and religion must be derived from faith. We need believing people."

In my experience, atheists are like most everyone else — decent people trying to raise families, contribute in a positive way, and make the world a better place. The incentive might be different than that of a theist, but it still exists.

To compare atheists to people like Stalin and Mao is hurtful. To claim that atheists don't believe in anything simply because they don't believe in God is ignorant.

Amy Bjorge