I’ve heard this explanation before, that atheists love their sin more than God, but to hate God implies that one knows God and then rejects Him, and I don’t think that flies. We could get into some heavy theology like predestination, our will vs. God’s will, etc., but I can’t believe that atheists have ever met up with God and know Him. To do so is a life-changing experience.
My best friend is an athiest (raised as a Jew) and whenever the topic is brought up he says he doesn't love his sins more than God because he doesn't sin and shouldn't suffer for what Adam did. There's no getting through to him that he can't earn his way into heaven.
Now before you jump all over me, the guy is a nice guy - he never tries to talk me out of my belief and never makes fun of Christians. This guy truly believes that a man has a right to believe in whatever they want. I've given up arguing with him because I figure he deserves the same respect I expect from him. If he doesn't want to go share a happy eternity, that's on him.
When my wife passed away last month he was there for me with great comfort. I didn't get the impression that he believed she would just rot in the ground, he supported me and my family and even nodded his head at the appropriate times. He says he is a typical athiest and the guys who go around like crusaders are a small minority.
I've learned to live with him.