It took me a little while to understand exactly what Chad Nesbitt and the Carolina Stompers are trying to say, but I have now figured it out and it’s a pretty simple and important premise. Simply put, they want those of us who are not right-wing extremists to understand that when the major figures behind our modern Western philosophy said and wrote what the rest of us think were pretty clearly enunciated ideas, in all cases they really meant exactly the opposite of what they were saying.
Hence, when in 1797 the United States Congress, after a full reading in session, ratified the Treaty of Tripoli, which states, “The government of the United States is in no sense founded on the Christian religion”—they really meant just the opposite!
Likewise, when President James Madison signed that document—he didn’t really mean it! Apparently Madison, one of the more towering figures in our country’s creation, was of such venal character as to enter into perpetuity a pack of lies for some reason we don’t comprehend. I trust Chad can explain to us what that reason was.
In the same spirit, when Thomas Jefferson, in 1801, wrote to the Danbury Baptist Association explaining that the deliberate intent of the Founding Fathers was to build into our Constitution “a wall of separation between church and state”—he didn’t really mean it! Never mind that malarkey about the New Americans having a deep, abiding memory of the horrors perpetrated on ordinary citizens by the state-run religions of their European predecessors—the Founding Fathers really hoped to replicate the Spanish Inquisition in the new U.S. of A.
Same with George Washington, who wrote at length about his own permanent, unchanging commitment to the ideals of liberalism, and his hope that it would in time spread around the world and become humankind’s dominant philosophy. For heaven’s sake—clearly he meant just the opposite.
The same goes for Jesus, who was so murky in his pronouncements that we still can’t understand what he was really saying. Thus, when Jesus said, “If a man striketh you on the cheek, turn the other cheek to him,” again—he really meant just the opposite.
And that pesky, much-distorted Fifth Commandment—Thou shalt not kill: Even God himself is a double-speaker. He really meant, as the right win has been trying to get us to see for a long time now: “Thou shalt not commit premeditated murder under certain limited circumstances, excluding any killing done by the state or during times of war, or if someone really makes you angry, or if you just don’t like their religion or if you need to take their oil away from them or … . Well, clearly God just didn’t have time to say what he really meant!
I’m really a new person, and I owe my newfound enlightenment to Chad and the Stompers. I now see that, in nearly all cases, when Jefferson, Adams, Madison, Franklin, Washington, Jesus et al wrote the things they did, they meant exactly the opposite of what they were saying. It’s pretty clear they trusted we would always have among us enough enlightened characters like the Carolina Stompers to interpret for us what they really meant!
I, for one, will be eternally grateful.
— Jon Dana