"A common complaint made by theists, typically those of the fundamentalist variety, is that atheism and/or humanism are essentially socialist or communist in nature. Thus, atheism and humanism should be rejected since socialism and communism are evil. Evidence indicates that bigotry and prejudice towards atheists in America is due in no small part to anti-communist activism by conservatives Christians in America, so this claimed connection has had serious consequences for American atheists.
Communism is not, however, inherently atheistic. It is possible to hold communist or socialist economic views while being a theist and it isn't at all uncommon to be an atheist while staunchly defending capitalism a combination often found among Objectivists and Libertarians, for example. Their existence alone demonstrates, without question, that atheism and communism are not the same thing."Atheism.about.com, May 10, 2007