It takes more faith to disbelieve than it does to believe
Atheists maintain that there is no evidence for God therefore it is not necessary, logical or reasonable to believe in him (or it or them).
Equally, not believing in fairies or Father Christmas is not an act of faith, it is the reasonable consequence of there being no evidence for the existence of these mythological beings. Such requires less a statement of faith, in the same sense that 0 is less then 1. In the sense that 0 is still a number and a value, Atheism can be considered a statement of faith as per Strong Atheism, though not as per Weak Atheism. An atheist may wish to bring up this distinction to derail the "Atheism is a kind of faith" argument.
Some just don't want to believe, but who are Theists to criticize Atheists with Strong Atheism? In that sense, they are both being hypocritical. There is no evidence for the presence of a higher power, that's why theists need faith - it's used in place of evidence. But the irony is that most of them have the confidence to deny the existence of fairy tale creatures for which there is no evidence. When it comes to Atheism, some use the lack of evidence as their justification to say that "there is no god", but at the same time as using faith, they are using the fact that there's no evidence to support their claim.
It also would seem appropriate to raise the point that, as faith is a virtue of religions and they are criticizing atheists for having more faith (or the same amount they do as the case may be), they are also criticizing themselves. And as we have demonstrated that atheists do not in fact have faith, they are only criticizing themselves. An apt question to directly follow the theists objection would be "does faith prove me wrong?".