I'll add my perspective, because I've been on both sides and I fall somewhere in the middle of it all. Maybe it can be used as reference to bridge some gaps between the views you all hold.
I went to church as a child, and I believed things because I was told that is what I should do. When I got to about 14 years old and started really thinking for myself, I became an atheist, and as lloydroid has alluded to, I felt that religion was a crutch that the mentally weak used to get by in their everyday lives and explain things they needed answers for. I was plenty happy not knowing those answers. Or so I thought.
Things were great through high school, but then I got to college and started partying, drinking, and chasing girls as sexual objects. It was really fun...except that there was a problem. I found I couldn't turn it off when I graduated and left that lifestyle. I had lost my moral values and began falling into a cycle of alcohol dependence to get me through the lonely days because I had lost the ability to function socially with respect and genuine love for others.
The whole time I was living that life I thought I was having fun, but there was always an empty pit inside of me and I knew that who I had become wasn't the real me or the me that I wanted to be. I finally found my answer when I read a book titled 'Blue Like Jazz' by a Christian author named Donald Miller. I don't know why I decided to do it, but it just seemed like what I was supposed to do. It was at that time that I realized I needed Jesus in my life and as my savior, because I had become the sinner that needed help. I didn't need the forgiveness of my sins necessarily...I had made those choices and was ready to accept the consequences...but I needed the love of Jesus to fill my heart and fill the void in my life. So I welcomed Jesus in to my life, and wouldn't you know it...the excessive amounts of alcohol lost it's appeal (I still like to drink, but not like before...I can control it now instead of it controlling me). I started to love myself, and in turn was able to truly love others.
I rarely go to church. I don't trust religious types. I feel the Bible has generally been used as a weapon to control people's lives for most of it's existence. I'm a Christian because I have a relationship with Jesus, not because I am religious and belong to a church.