If you were God, would you want people to grovel before You? Fear You? Think You’re capable of sending non-believers to Hell to be tortured for all of eternity? The sort of God who would withhold treatments or cures from suffering people because they weren’t devout or didn’t pray hard enough for it?
For all the talk about how “God is love,” religious people believe God is capable of some incredibly awful behavior. Compared to that, atheists are downright pleasant, merely questioning God’s existence and demanding proof before accepting the belief.
Any God worthy of respect, you would think, would appreciate a person who makes a genuine attempt at searching for Him (even if nothing ever turns up) rather than someone who just follows the rituals or believes whatever he’s told to believe.