Are you an atheist?
Then you’re a liar.
So says Pastor Robert Morris of Dallas’ Gateway Church (who once claimed his prayers could cure infertile women).
The pro-Trump preacher explained in a sermon Monday that it’s “scientifically impossible to be an atheist.”
… the word literally means “no God.” No God. That’s what it means. So you can’t go changing the definition now, or you could create a new word. If you want to come up with a new word to say “I don’t believe there’s a God,” then come up with a new word. But if you want to use the word “atheist,” scientifically, there’s no atheists because you can’t definitively say there is no God, and I’ll prove it to you.
Jesus Christ, it’s this old argument again… It’s the idea that atheists claim to have all the knowledge EVER, which they can’t, therefore a virgin gave birth to someone who later rose from the dead.
Notice that Morris never quotes any prominent atheist who agrees with that definition. He’s not playing video clips. That’s because he’s a liar.
Atheists, more than religious people, I would argue, are perfectly willing to admit there’s plenty we don’t know. As opposed to Christians like Morris who opened up one book and claim to have all the answers. If someone wants to pretend God exists, then the burden of proof is on him.
There are other standard rebuttals here, but let’s go with the simplest one: He’s lying about the definition of atheist. He’s lying because he’s a pastor and he knows his followers will never call him out on it. He’s creating a straw man in order to knock it down.
No one has ever “changed” the definition. No one needs to change the definition. Morris just needs to learn how to read. Christian apologists love to pretend “atheist” means someone who declares with absolute certainty that God doesn’t exist. The reality is that it means someone who believes God doesn’t exist. There’s a difference. (Agnosticism is something else entirely.)
You can be an a-unicornist, too. It doesn’t mean you’ve scientifically proven unicorns are fictional; it means there’s no convincing evidence to the contrary, so you don’t buy into the myth.
It’s ironic that a guy who stretches the definition of Christianity has the audacity to tell atheists they don’t understand their own label.