atheists are more compassionate and generous than religious people. I found it utterly unsurprising (if a bit misleading of the studies actual findings).
As you know, there are two ways to be alienated from God. One is by being very, very bad. And the other is by being very, very good. You can be so good or so religious that you just don't have any need in your life for a savior. Basically, you're a pharisee. Incredibly good or religious, but it creates a self-righteousness that is blinding and that makes you arrogant.
In the religious sphere this creates people you are so self-righteous they feel that they are above people who are in need. "Those people" just need to start "living right" and their problems would be solved.
The interesting thing is that this self-righteousness operates not only with religious people (a constant problem in churches), but also in the secular sphere. If your self-image is reliant completely on your being a good, or moral, or compassionate, or generous person, then you'll have to be good. Your entire self-image depends on it.
It is only the gospel that says you can find your identity not in your morality or religious observance, but in the fact that Christ died for you despite your badness. Then you'll be truly free to be generous or compassionate beyond what it will gain you (self-image or self-justification). You'll be able to be generous because God has been so generous to you. You'll be compassionate because God has been so compassionate to you. That is the power of the gospel