Much has been written here and elsewhere about Pat Robinson and his comments on Haiti. He was pretty much universally condemned by other Christians and he has been been extensively (and gleefully) quoted on atheist websites as yet another example of Christian hypocrisy. And there's no shortage. From popes to born again US presidents, from Free Presbyterian ministers to Serbian patriarchs, hypocritical Christians are the gift that keep on giving to the non-believers.
That's the problem with complex belief systems. There are so many injunctions with regard to behaviour, so many thou shalts and shalt nots that it's all too easy to find someone who espouses the religion in question yet is transgressing in some way. Errare humanum est. That's not in any way to imply that what Pat Robertson said was somehow accidental. It wasn't; he meant to say what he said. And yeah, he's a scumbag.
However, to somehow imply that his views are typical is disingenuous. Christianity is about a lot more than a vengeful God. Yes, we’ve seen the abuses inflicted on children and vulnerable women by Christian run organisations – especially those of the Roman Catholic Church. However, bear in mind that in pre-Christian European societies, disabled newborn babies (and often able-bodied girls) were put to death or left to die of exposure. It was only when Christianity began to hold sway that these barbaric practises (and many others) were banned and that the whole concept of caring for the ill and people with disabilities came to be viewed as a norm.
Christianity has made a huge contribution to western civilisation (and by this term I mean the process of civilising the peoples of Europe). Who knows whether the laudable humanism espoused by many modern day atheists would even have had a chance to develop were it not for the prior influence of Christianity?
There will always be examples of Christians behaving hypocritically. It's like shooting fish in a barrel and it logically follows that if a Christian is infringing his/her own beliefs, they can't be of significant worth. By contrast, it's very difficult to accuse an atheist of being a hypocrite - unless you find evidence of him/her believing in a god or gods. Atheism doesn't condemn anything - apart from theism. You can be a thief, cruel to animals, a racist, a murderer, a rapist, a paedophile and Dawkins knows what else and still not infringe the sole tenet of atheism. That's not at all to say that atheists condone such crimes; it's merely to point out that they can engage in all of them and still not be calling into question in any way their adherence to atheism.
On the rare occasions when atheists have assumed control of an entire state, the results have not been pretty. But I can't say that Stalin's starvation of the Ukrainian peasantry, the slaughters of Budapest, Prague or Warsaw, the awful legacies of Ceausescu or Hoxha, the eery techniques of societal control operated by the Stasi, the famines induced by Chairman Mao, the genocide of the Khmer Rouge etc. could all be attributed to the atheism of their instigates. I certainly can't accuse them of being inconsistent with their atheistic beliefs and thereby question the value of those beliefs because the above actions are not inconsistent with atheism.
For an atheist to accuse a Christian of hypocrisy and thereby to question the whole basis of Christianity is a rather like a non-driver criticising the motoring techniques of someone who has been behind the wheel for years. You need to know what it's like to try and live your life according to a huge set of principles that are written down for all to see. And contrast and compare and criticise.
That's not to say it's wrong for atheists to point out the hypocrisies mentioned above. But..... what's next? Is this all atheism will ever be - a bunch of people fulminating against religions? What does atheism have to say about the major issues confronting humanity today such as abortion, gay marriage, genetic engineering, cloning embryos, our (ab)use of the environment etc. Does it have a position on these issues? If so, what is it and if theists can find an atheist who doesn't behave consistently with these principles, then presumably they can use him/her to attack atheism?
Because you see, that would finally make this endless argument more of a level playing field.