"I believe the hardened atheist will have a more severe judgement even than the religious zealot who blew up people in god's name and the priest who commit awful physical acts against other people."
I sincerely hope that you don't really believe that. If you do then you should read this:
"The servant who knows the master's will and does not get ready or does not do what the master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked."
Along with knowledge of God comes added responsibility and accountability.
"I have believed for a long time that to be a hardened atheist is the greatest sin a human being can commit "The fool hath said in his heart there is no God."
There is a bigger sin than that and it is to believe in God and then turn against him by doing heinous things that should not be done, this blasphemes the Spirit and is the biggest offense there is. Jesus talks about this by saying that those who sin and lead others to sin would be better off to have a huge rock tied around their neck and thrown into the lake. Jesus also said:
Matthew 12:32 Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man will be forgiven, but anyone who speaks against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven, either in this age or in the age to come."
Maybe this will help to clear up your statement about atheists deserving more punishment than believers:
"If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left, but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God. Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant that sanctified them, and who has insulted the Spirit of grace?"
Maybe your'e just stirring things up a bit?