I've said it before and I'll surely say it again: I have no interest in religion, and my life's experience tells me most so-called "religious" folks are selfish, sadistic assholes.
Now that I have said that, consider this: Most of the people who did kind things for me while I traveled are vocal Christians. They are awesome people who honestly care for their fellow human. They gave me rides, they gave me food, they gave me money, and they gave me things I cannot possibly put into words.
However, thousands and thousands of other Christians (and non-Christians, to be fair) passed me by without even thinking about picking me up or even checking to see if I'd died of hypothermia or anything else like that. They just didn't care.
My point is that the majority of them were Christians, and as Christians they take comfort in their belief that their sins will be forgiven. They rest assured that believing in a god and being a Christian somehow makes them better, more deserving, more important than some guy freezing his ass off next to the on-ramp.
Meanwhile, someone else--maybe a Christian, maybe an Atheist--is just around the corner or 30 minutes from encountering the shivering, exhausted vagabond. They have no idea what's going to happen in the coming minutes, but when it does happen, they stop and find out how they can help the poor soul. It's not because they believe in a god or because they don't believe in a god; it's because they have a kind heart.
It's not what you believe that makes you a good person or a bad person. It's not what you say that makes you a good person or a bad person. That stuff doesn't mean shit. It's what you do that counts. And when you do good things for people, it makes you a good person.
I've always tried to do good things for people, but now I know how I can do even more good things for people, so I will. And if I fail, it's on me, and I'll have to seek forgiveness from myself, not some invisible man up in the sky.