In the South, during the 1700s and 1800s, there was slavery. Wealthy people on farms and plantations owned black people, and forced them to work for free.
In order to be wealthy enough to own slaves, you were not a stupid person, you were likely educated. I have wondered what kind of thought process occurred in an educated person’s mind, in order to reconcile, the fact that you owned other people. Three general possibilities: You believed that blacks were so inferior, that they did not have the same rights as whites; You believed that according to the Bible, slavery had existed, and it was allowable; You didn’t let the thought of moral right and wrong guide what you did.
I can see atheists deciding that they would not worry about moral right and wrong, and participate in slavery because it would not be in conflict with their religious beliefs, they have none. But slavery was not engaged in by atheists alone. The South was predominantly Christian Protestant. I see that the root of the slavery problem was not that people in the South did not worry about moral right and wrong, it was that their sense and understanding of moral right and wrong was warped.
The Civil War, the Emancipation Proclamation, De-Segregation, Integration of Public Schools, the Civil Rights Movement, all happened in order to bring equal and fair treatment to people in the South. Me, I have to admit, that one of the underlying causes of the resistance to change was that the Christian Protestant beliefs in the South did not squash the prejudice and hate in people’s minds, like it should have. In other words, people in the South were predominantly Christian Protestant, but they were filled with hate, and they should not have been if they were in fact followers and believers in Christianity.
Now, I want to point out a similar problem that the German Catholics have had. Over in Germany in the 1930s, the people were predominantly Catholic. In Germany, there became an out of control hatred of the Jews. The Jews were forced by law, to wear the Star of David on their clothes. They were mistreated, ridiculed, and abused in public. The Jews were forced to relocate to crowded ghettos, their homes, property, and land were taken. The Jews were later relocated to work camps and concentration camps, and forced to work as slaves. Many Jews were worked to death, starved to death, or were killed in the gas chambers. The Catholics in Germany, if they were truly following and believing in Christianity, they would not have allowed this to happen.
At the end of World War II, there were two entities that were authorized to create identification papers and travel documents for refugees in Europe: the Red Cross, and the Catholic Church. It is now known historical record and fact, that the Catholic Church officials created many false identification papers for Nazis that were known to be war criminals being sought by allied forces for prosecution for atrocities against the Jews. The Catholic Church provided false identification, false documents, aid, and assistance to known war criminals, to allow them to escape to other parts of Europe and South America.
It was not that Germany was full of atheists, it was full of Catholics. How could you be a Catholic, and think that rounding up millions of Jews, taking their property, and killing them, was the Christian thing to do? The Catholic Church itself even helped the war criminals escape prosecution, and escape from Germany.
What the Christian Protestants did in the South with slavery was wrong. What the Christian Catholics did in Germany was wrong.
The De-Segregation, forced Integration of Schools, and Civil Rights Movements that occurred in the South in the 1960s and 1970s were recent actions that occurred to battle continued prejudice, discrimination, and hatred in the South, that had not been successfully eliminated by Protestant religions. The Protestant religions in the South are partly to blame for allowing and enabling many Christians to live with hateful ideas and hateful practices.
Right here in Dickinson, the Catholic Church is greatly to blame for allowing and enabling these Catholics here in Dickinson to mistreat and take advantage of out-of-state workers. The Catholic Church, which is one of the wealthiest institutions in the World, had the resources, to help the many thousands of people who came to North Dakota and lived in filth and squalor.
Again, go and look at the Real Estate Multiple Listing Guide in Dickinson, and look at all the happy smiling faces of the realtors. They have no remorse for taking advantage of the out-of-state workers. People traveling here to Dickinson, with hopes of finding a good job, and providing for their families back home, only to find that one-bedroom apartments were $1,500 per month, homes that had once been $700 per month, were now $4,000 per month. Many workers slept in their cars at Wal-Mart, many workers slept in their cars at Tiger Truck Stop, many workers slept in tents at Patterson Lake, or in people’s back yards. Real estate agents and property developers did not want any man-camps, they wanted to keep prices high!, they wanted to get rich! They, and the Catholic Church did not want any homeless shelter, these homeless people don’t matter. The Catholics in Dickinson greatly mistreated the out-of-state workers. It was not that the Catholic Church or the Catholics did not have the resources, means, and ability to help, it was that the Catholics in Dickinson have hatred towards others.