Many atheists despise religion because it is not true. They wonder that anyone could be dumb enough to believe such fantastical things as are found in the mythology of religion - all religions, since none are based on a scientific, post-enlightenment understanding of the universe.
While their devotion to truth is admirable, they are missing the point. People are not religious because they have become convinced of the truth of the myth. Rather, religion is about psychological nourishment; it's about feeding the human soul.
Let's consider the Christian faith. When people go to church they are told that they will live again with their loved ones who have died. They are told that they are loved by God. They are told that the wrongs that they have done to others will be forgiven. They are told that evil people will be punished and good people will be blessed and rewarded, in the next life if not in this one.
In short, Christianity fits the shape of the hole in the human heart. It provides an answer for all the features of our world that are tragic and repulsive: we are self-aware beings with unlimited ambitions but tiny, limited lifespans, we are lonely and hunger for love all our lives, we are shamed by our hurtful deeds and words but we cannot undo them, and we wonder at ruthless people prospering while kind-hearted folks are taken advantage of.
This message of hope is wrapped in a profound aesthetic and meditative experience, together with a community of the faithful. It is paired with an imperative to practice universal benevolence - goodwill towards all human kind. This generates an ethic of community, charity, and service that is one of the most attractive features of Christianity.
Atheists who attempt to convert religious people by attacking the truth of the mythology are practicing a futile tactic. They don't understand the human psyche. They don't understand the deep needs that drive the billions of religious people in the world. When they do, they will become better at communicating their message. That's why atheists and religious people tend to talk past each other so much. They have two very different models of religion in their minds. The atheist mind is focused on the truth claims of religion, the religious on the relgious experience.
I enjoy participating in religious experiences, even though I am an intellectual atheist. I recognize that the peace, the self-insight, the comfort that comes from religious practice and meditation and prayer makes me a happier and healthier person. It's not for everybody, but it's certainly for people like me. I despair at the tragedies of this life, and I long for a better moral ethic than is offered by the materialistic nihilism of this world. I am becoming more culturally Christian, and as I do I grow more proud of who I am. Christianity encourages me to focus my attention outward, on the needs of others, rather than selfishly mulling over all the things I am missing in my life.
If you would have told me 11 years ago that I wold be going to church again when I was 29, I would have been incredulous. But here I am. What drives me is my sincere hope is that I may be a blessing to all who know me. If I am, I know the Christian ethic will play a part.