Eric Reitan As AJ Muste said in an attempt to explain the nature of Christian love, "If I can't love Hitler, I can't love anybody."
Eric Reitan is a prominent pacifist, while Muste was a Marxist pacifist. However, this does encapsulate, in a dramatic way, how freewill theists conceptualize Christian love. So let's scrutinize the claim:
1. Clearly there's no logical contradiction in selectively loving some people rather than all people. If I love some people, but don't love other people, that's logically consistent.
Notice I'm not making a value judgment on the propriety of that attitude. I'm just making the observation that this statement is false from a logical standpoint.
2. Just as clearly, it's psychologically possible to selectively love some people rather than all people. And that's not just in principle. I daresay that's universal human experience. It's nonsense to say that if I can't love Hitler, then I can't love my parents or grandparents or siblings or spouse or kids or friends.
Notice, once again, I'm not making a value judgment on the propriety of that attitude. I'm just making the observation that this statement is false from a psychological and sociological standpoint.
It's important to draw these distinctions in part because, in my experience, internet freewill theists are prone to indulge in virtue-signaling. They engage in self-congratulatory comparisons that have no basis in reality. Back-patting rhetoric.
3. At best, then, the statement is mean to express an ideal. What ought to be the case.
And it's true that Scripture commands Christians to practice love in general. Love our neighbors. Love our enemies.
4. That, however, also turns on the definition of love. Consider two candidates:
i) An emotion. Affection.
Certainly that's a valid definition of love, but is in applicable in this context? For instance, there are currently about 7 billion humans on the planet, but I don't have affection for most of them because I don't know that most of them exist. I don't know who they are. The figure is just an abstraction. I know that they exist in the sense that there must be that many individuals to comprise that total, but I don't know them all as individuals. I can't have the same affection for them that I have for someone I know.
On that definition, not loving someone doesn't mean hating them. If I don't know you exist, I don't love you, hate you, like you, or dislike you. I have no feelings about you whatsoever.
ii) An action. Acting in someone's best interest.
That's a common alternate definition. And I think it's often valid.
That distinction makes it possible to distinguish affection from compassion. I don't have to have affection for someone to have compassion for someone. Compassion can be more abstract. Imagining myself in their situation.
5. But in a fallen world, it isn't possible to love everyone in the sense of (4). I can't simultaneously act in Hitler's best interests and Jewish best interests, because those are diametrically opposed. Hitler posed an existential threat to Jews. I can love Hitler at the expense of Jews, or I can love Jews and the expense of Hitler, but I can't do both at the same time. Take the plot to assassinate Hitler.
So this aphorism ("If I can't love Hitler, I can't love anybody") turns out to be an unwitting reductio ad absurdum not only of universalism but Arminianism.