Reverend Holmes and Alice’s Restaurant
I hope Arlo Guthrie reads The Raleigh News and Observer because he’d probably be inspired to write a song about Reverend Jane Holmes. She’s an Episcopal Deacon who was arrested at a Moral Monday demonstration at the State Capital in Raleigh. You might recall the song Alice’s Restaurant that Arlo Guthrie wrote about the Viet Nam War. In the song, Arlo is arrested for littering, which makes him too immoral to serve in the Army.
I went over to the sargent, said, "Sargeant, you got a lot a damn gall to
Ask me if I've rehabilitated myself, I mean, I mean, I mean that just, I'm
Sittin' here on the bench, I mean I'm sittin here on the Group W bench
'cause you want to know if I'm moral enough join the army, burn women,
Kids, houses and villages after bein' a litterbug." He looked at me and
Said, "Kid, we don't like your kind, and we're gonna send you fingerprints
Off to Washington."
Sheriff Chip Bailey of Mecklenburg County terminated Reverend Holmes’ ministry as a jail chaplain because of her arrest. Apparently, Reverend Holmes wasn’t moral enough for Sheriff Bailey’s taste. Ms. Holmes and the other arrestees are First Amendment heroes. There’s absolutely no reason for her dismissal other than the Sheriff’s desire to deprive prisoners of the Reverend’s ministry and his desire to stifle speech that doesn’t comport with his narrow views.