You think this is an odd belief? It's not. The thing about Roman Catholics (that's his variety of Christianity) is that each of them "believes" in virtually nothing. It's very mushy, this set of beliefs. If you take ten Catholics and ask them about their faith, you'll get ten different answers -- none of which are compatible with the others.
That's because the god idea is so vague. Is he a good god? They hope so but the bible reveals a terrible god at times, so they're not sure. Are they themselves good enough to make it into heaven? Again, they don't know. It's even possible that they'll suffer for all eternity in an unending fire. They have no clue.
And what is this heaven that (hopefully) lies in their future? Again, they don't know. It may mean they kneel in a church for all eternity, looking at this god fellow and trying to worship him (whatever that might mean).
I'll say it again: they really don't know. Christianity is amorphous. It has no definite shape. Fear, hope, terror, joy, justice, punishment -- all these components come into play but there is no one to tell them what's right and true. Because no one knows. And so the fears of the faithful grow.
Atheists have no such fears. There is no reason to fear death, and certainly there is no reason to fear an afterlife that will never come your way. The time after you die will be exactly like the time before you were born. You didn't hate that pre-life period, did you? So you have nothing to worry about after you're gone. Atheism. It just makes sense.