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MICHAEL ALEXANDER Fifty years ago, men who believed that the Bible told them not to take up arms were jailed for conscientious objection. Today it’s just the reverse: We jail men who believe that God tells them to bear arms. In the Davidian mind, not taking up arms and taking up arms are the same thingif it is God who is giving the command. Had the government understood that it takes two parties to define the object of war, then even the February 28 raid might not have occurred. The ATF sent an informer into Mount Carmel to gather intelligencebut what he gathered wasn’t enough. His expertise was weapons, not religion. Like a deaf man, he could see what the Davidians did he could see gunsbut he could not understand what they said. It would have been far smarter to have picked a preacher instead of a cop or a preacher as well as a cop for the informer’s job. The government’s high road of religious indifference may have been the route to massacre. The trial in San Antonio is not likely to air the subject of religion, anymore than other investigations have; there are presumably no religious conflicts in America, none that can lead to bloodshed, anyway. But even if the Bible is barred from court, the issue behind the trial will be a religious and Constitutional one. If freedom of religion exists, how far does it extend? Church and state may be separatebut which is supreme? MOLLY IVINS On why we loved Kugle Editor’s Note: This remembrance of Bill Kugle is reprinted from Molly Ivins’ new collection, Nothin’ but Good Times Ahead, with permission of Random House Inc. Copyright 1993 by Molly Ivins. Bill Kugle died December 27, 1992. BILL KUGLE OF ATHENS has gone and died, leaving us shy of probably the most fun-loving freedom-fighter Texas ever produced. What a fighter and a lover was Kugle. What a glorious, joyous, life-embiacing, Constitution-loving, laff riot of a life he led. He fought, sequentially, the Japanese in the Pacific during. World War II, the mob in Galveston, the pinheads in the Texas Legislature, racism in East Texas and sourpusses at all times and on all fronts. He loved running rivers in Texas, riding motorcycles in Mexico, freedom, justice, his kids, several wives and women in general, country music, beer, food, camping, and people. He’ was 67 when he died, watching the Dallas Cowboys win a gameperfect. They’d been begging him to slow down since the first heart attack over a year earlier. Even Ann Richards, whom Kugle adored, wrote him, called him, pleaded”But what’s a mother to do?” she recalled at his memorial service in Austin. You couldn’t slow Kugle down any more than you can catch a rainbow: He was always at full throttle, with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old boy. There are so many great Kugle stories, but let’s start in the Lege. It’s 1953, and Kugle, a young lawyer out of Galveston, is one of a handful of members to stand and oppose a resolution inviting Senator Joseph McCarthy to address a joint session of the Texas Legislature. At the back Molly Ivins, a former Observer editor, is a columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 10 DECEMBER 24, 1993