Are these people confused or secretly hiding something? From this article titled Religion survey's God-fearing atheists
I quote "21 percent of the people who say they are atheists but express a belief in God or universal spirit, more than half of those who say they are agnostic express a similar belief."
"More than 90 percent of Americans — including one in five people who say they are atheists — believe in God or a universal power, and more than half pray at least once a day, according to results of a poll released Monday that takes an in-depth look at Americans' religious beliefs." (America's faith deep, nuanced)
The movement of the religion of Secular Humanism is catching on but not to the extent as they would have you believe. I remember a time, back in the 90's, when the Gay community was claiming 10% of America as being gay when the real numbers were around 1-3%. Now 5% claim atheism and is being promoted, but 'in the closet' 1 out of 5 of that 5% are believing in God and some even praying! All the glory to God.
It also appears that atheists are the minority in saying that "In God We Trust" should be taken out in mandated exercises of civic expression.
The atheists here in California wrongly claim: "These phrases represent outdated and government-sanctioned bigotry."
Leith Anderson, president of the National Association of Evangelicals said it best "When a survey says that atheists believe in God it seems obvious that some don't know what an atheist is or who God is or don't much think about logical inconsistency. But we know that lots of people aren't good at taking surveys!
Or maybe some atheists don't believe in God but would like to if they could find a way.
The universality of religion and the quest for God seems to confirm that there is an unsatisfied desire for God in almost all of us. Just because some arrive at an official "no God" philosophical conclusion doesn't mean that the universal desire is satisfied by denial. So, we have 21 percent of atheists who believe and pray anyway."