Mal Shot First!

You may have heard this pathetic story already:

On September 12, 2011, Professor Miller posted on his office door an image of Nathan Fillion in Joss Whedon’s sci-fi series Firefly and a line from an episode: “You don’t know me, son, so let me explain this to you once: If I ever kill you, you’ll be awake. You’ll be facing me. And you’ll be armed.” On September 16, UWS Chief of Police Lisa A. Walter notified Miller that she had removed the poster because it “refer[s] to killing.” After Miller replied, “respect my first amendment rights,” Walter wrote that “the poster can be interpreted as a threat.” Walter also threatened Miller with criminal charges: “If you choose to repost the article or something similar to it, it will be removed and you could face charges of disorderly conduct.”

In response to Walter’s censorship, Miller placed a new poster on his office door on the 16th. The poster read “Warning: Fascism” and mocked, “Fascism can cause blunt head trauma and/or violent death. Keep fascism away from children and pets.”

Walter escalated the absurdity. On September 20, she wrote that this poster, too, had been censored because it “depicts violence and mentions violence and death” and was expected to “be constituted as a threat.” She added that UWS’s “threat assessment team,” in consultation with the university general counsel’s office, had made the decision. College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences Interim Dean Raymond Hayes then scheduled a meeting with Miller about “the concerns raised by the campus threat assessment team.”

The irony for me is wondering whether Joss Whedan flinches to see his work relegated to the wrong side of Political Correctness, or if he smiles.

There is considerable overlap between leftwingery and libertarianism, and certain famous folk (Robert Heinlein springs to mind) not only defy the White Privileged Capitalist Establishment (or whatever), but somehow end up ornery enough to defy the Glorious Big Brother of the People’s Party of Revolutionary Correct Thought.

My humble opinion is that sometimes the Muse pulls a fast one, and the writer ends up glorifying an idea which is in truth worthy of praise, not realizing or not caring that the worldview or cult or party that claims his loyalty would prefer to dispraise it.


UPDATE: looks like the Alliance backed down. The varmits.

Eddy, Mary Baker . Science and Health with KEY to THE SCRIPTURES
Electronic Text Center, University of Virginia Library
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For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.

Your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask Him.-CHRIST JESUS.
THE prayer that reforms the sinner and heals the

sick is an absolute faith that all things are

possible to God,-a spiritual understanding of Him,

an unselfed love. Regardless of what another may say

or think on this subject, I speak from experience.

Prayer, watching, and working, combined with self-im-

molation, are God’s gracious means for accomplishing

whatever has been successfully done for the Christian-

ization and health of mankind.
Thoughts unspoken are not unknown to the divine

Mind. Desire is prayer; and no loss can occur from

trusting God with our desires, that they may be

moulded and exalted before they take form in words

and in deeds.


Right motives

What are the motives for prayer? Do we pray to

make ourselves better or to benefit those who hear us,

to enlighten the infinite or to be heard of

men? Are we benefited by praying? Yes,

the desire which goes forth hungering after righteous-

ness is blessed of our Father, and it does not return

unto us void.

Deity unchangeable

God is not moved by the breath of praise to do more

than He has already done, nor can the infinite do less

than bestow all good, since He is unchang-

ing wisdom and Love. We can do more for

ourselves by humble fervent petitions, but the All-lov-

ing does not grant them simply on the ground of lip-

service, for He already knows all.
Prayer cannot change the Science of being, but it

tends to bring us into harmony with it. Goodness at-

tains the demonstration of Truth. A request that

God will save us is not all that is required. The mere

habit of pleading with the divine Mind, as one pleads

with a human being, perpetuates the belief in God as

humanly circumscribed,-an error which impedes spirit-

ual growth.

God’s standard

God is Love. Can we ask Him to be more? God is

intelligence. Can we inform the infinite Mind of any-

thing He does not already comprehend?

Do we expect to change perfection? Shall

we plead for more at the open fount, which is pour-

ing forth more than we accept? The unspoken desire

does bring us nearer the source of all existence and

Asking God to be God is a vain repetition. God is

“the same yesterday, and to-day, and forever;” and


He who is immutably right will do right without being

reminded of His province. The wisdom of man is not

sufficient to warrant him in advising God.

The spiritual mathematics

Who would stand before a blackboard, and pray the

principle of mathematics to solve the problem? The

rule is already established, and it is our

task to work out the solution. Shall we

ask the divine Principle of all goodness to do His own

work? His work is done, and we have only to avail

ourselves of God’s rule in order to receive His bless-

ing, which enables us to work out our own salvation.
The Divine Being must be reflected by man,-else

man is not the image and likeness of the patient,

tender, and true, the One “altogether lovely;” but to

understand God is the work of eternity, and demands

absolute consecration of thought, energy, and desire.

Prayerful ingratitude

How empty are our conceptions of Deity! We admit

theoretically that God is good, omnipotent, omni-

present, infinite, and then we try to give

information to this infinite Mind. We plead

for unmerited pardon and for a liberal outpouring of

benefactions. Are we really grateful for the good

already received? Then we shall avail ourselves of the

blessings we have, and thus be fitted to receive more.

Gratitude is much more than a verbal expression of

thanks. Action expresses more gratitude than speech.
If we are ungrateful for Life, Truth, and Love, and

yet return thanks to God for all blessings, we are in-

sincere and incur the sharp censure our Master pro-

nounces on hypocrites. In such a case, the only

acceptable prayer is to put the finger on the lips and

remember our blessings. While the heart is far from


divine Truth and Love, we cannot conceal the ingrati-

tude of barren lives.

Efficacious petitions

What we most need is the prayer of fervent desire

for growth in grace, expressed in patience, meekness,

love, and good deeds. To keep the com-

mandments of our Master and follow his

example, is our proper debt to him and the only

worthy evidence of our gratitude for all that he has

done. Outward worship is not of itself sufficient to

express loyal and heartfelt gratitude, since he has

said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”
The habitual struggle to be always good is unceas-

ing prayer. Its motives are made manifest in the

blessings they bring,-blessings which, even if not

acknowledged in audible words, attest our worthiness

to be partakers of Love.

Watchfulness requisite

Simply asking that we may love God will never

make us love Him; but the longing to be better

and holier, expressed in daily watchful-

ness and in striving to assimilate more of

the divine character, will mould and fashion us

anew, until we awake in His likeness. We reach the

Science of Christianity through demonstration of the

divine nature; but in this wicked world goodness

will “be evil spoken of,” and patience must bring


Veritable devotion

Audible prayer can never do the works of spiritual

understanding, which regenerates; but silent prayer,

watchfulness, and devout obedience enable

us to follow Jesus’ example. Long prayers,

superstition, and creeds clip the strong pinions of love,

and clothe religion in human forms. Whatever mate-


rializes worship hinders man’s spiritual growth and keeps

him from demonstrating his power over error.

Sorrow and reformation

Sorrow for wrong-doing is but one step towards reform

and the very easiest step. The next and great step re-

quired by wisdom is the test of our sincerity,

-namely, reformation. To this end we are

placed under the stress of circumstances. Temptation

bids us repeat the offence, and woe comes in return for

what is done. So it will ever be, till we learn that there

is no discount in the law of justice and that we must pay

“the uttermost farthing.” The measure ye mete “shall

be measured to you again,” and it will be full “and run-

ning over.”
Saints and sinners get their full award, but not always

in this world. The followers of Christ drank his cup.

Ingratitude and persecution filled it to the brim; but God

pours the riches of His love into the understanding and

affections, giving us strength according to our day. Sin-

ners flourish “like a green bay tree;” but, looking farther,

the Psalmist could see their end,-the destruction of sin

through suffering.

Cancellation of human sin

Prayer is not to be used as a confessional to cancel sin.

Such an error would impede true religion. Sin is forgiven

only as it is destroyed by Christ,-Truth and

Life. If prayer nourishes the belief that sin is

cancelled, and that man is made better merely by praying,

prayer is an evil. He grows worse who continues in sin

because he fancies himself forgiven.

Diabolism destroyed

An apostle says that the Son of God [Christ] came to

“destroy the works of the devil.” We should

follow our divine Exemplar, and seek the de-

struction of all evil works, error and disease included.


We cannot escape the penalty due for sin. The Scrip-

tures say, that if we deny Christ, ” he also will deny us.”

Pardon and amendment

Divine Love corrects and governs man. Men may

pardon, but this divine Principle alone reforms the

sinner. God is not separate from the wis-

dom He bestows. The talents He gives we

must improve. Calling on Him to forgive our work

badly done or left undone, implies the vain supposition

that we have nothing to do but to ask pardon, and

that afterwards we shall be free to repeat the offence.
To cause suffering as the result of sin, is the means

of destroying sin. Every supposed pleasure in sin

will furnish more than its equivalent of pain, until be-

lief in material life and sin is destroyed. To reach

heaven, the harmony of being, we must understand

the divine Principle of being.

Mercy without partiality

“God is Love.” More than this we cannot ask,

higher we cannot look, farther we cannot go. To

suppose that God forgives or punishes sin

according as His mercy is sought or un-

sought, is to misunderstand Love and to make prayer

the safety-valve for wrong-doing.

Divine severity

Jesus uncovered and rebuked sin before he cast it

out. Of a sick woman he said that Satan had bound

her, and to Peter he said, “Thou art an of-

fence unto me.” He came teaching and

showing men how to destroy sin, sickness, and death.

He said of the fruitless tree, “[It] is hewn down.”

It is believed by many that a certain magistrate,

who lived in the time of Jesus, left this record: “His

rebuke is fearful.” The strong language of our Mas-

ter confirms this description.


The only civil sentence which he had for error was,

“Get thee behind me, Satan.” Still stronger evidence

that Jesus’ reproof was pointed and pungent is found

in his own words,-showing the necessity for such

forcible utterance, when he cast out devils and healed

the sick and sinning. The relinquishment of error de-

prives material sense of its false claims.

Audible praying

Audible prayer is impressive; it gives momentary

solemnity and elevation to thought. But does it pro-

duce any lasting benefit? Looking deeply

into these things, we find that “a zeal . . .

not according to knowledge” gives occasion for reac-

tion unfavorable to spiritual growth, sober resolve, and

wholesome perception of God’s requirements. The mo-

tives for verbal prayer may embrace too much love of

applause to induce or encourage Christian sentiment.

Emotional utterances

Physical sensation, not Soul, produces material ec-

stasy and emotion. If spiritual sense always guided

men, there would grow out of ecstatic mo-

ments a higher experience and a better life

with more devout self-abnegation and purity. A self-

satisfied ventilation of fervent sentiments never makes

a Christian. God is not influenced by man. The “di-

vine ear” is not an auditory nerve. It is the all-hearing

and all-knowing Mind, to whom each need of man is

always known and by whom it will be supplied.

Danger from audible prayer

The danger from prayer is that it may lead us into temp-

tation. By it we may become involuntary hypocrites, ut-

tering desires which are not real and consoling

ourselves in the midst of sin with the recollection

that we have prayed over it or mean to ask for-

giveness at some later day. Hypocrisy is fatal to religion.


A wordy prayer may afford a quiet sense of self-

justification, though it makes the sinner a hypocrite.

We never need to despair of an honest heart; but

there is little hope for those who come only spasmodi-

cally face to face with their wickedness and then seek to

hide it. Their prayers are indexes which do not correspond

with their character. They hold secret fellowship with

sin, and such externals are spoken of by Jesus as “like

unto whited sepulchres . . . full . . . of all uncleanness.”

Aspiration and love

If a man, though apparently fervent and prayerful,

is impure and therefore insincere, what must be the

comment upon him? If he reached the

loftiness of his prayer, there would be no

occasion for comment. If we feel the aspiration, hu-

mility, gratitude, and love which our words express,-

this God accepts; and it is wise not to try to deceive

ourselves or others, for “there is nothing covered that

shall not be revealed.” Professions and audible pray-

ers are like charity in one respect,-they “cover the

multitude of sins.” Praying for humility with what-

ever fervency of expression does not always mean a

desire for it. If we turn away from the poor, we are

not ready to receive the reward of Him who blesses

the poor. We confess to having a very wicked heart

and ask that it may be laid bare before us, but do

we not already know more of this heart than we are

willing to have our neighbor see?

Searching the heart

We should examine ourselves and learn what is the

affection and purpose of the heart, for in this way

only can we learn what we honestly are. If a

friend informs us of a fault, do we listen pa-

tiently to the rebuke and credit what is said? Do we not


rather give thanks that we are “not as other men”?

During many years the author has been most grateful

for merited rebuke. The wrong lies in unmerited cen-

sure,-in the falsehood which does no one any good.

Summit of aspiration

The test of all prayer lies in the answer to these

questions: Do we love our neighbor better because of

this asking? Do we pursue the old selfish-

ness, satisfied with having prayed for some-

thing better, though we give no evidence of the sin-

cerity of our requests by living consistently with our

prayer? If selfishness has given place to kindness,

we shall regard our neighbor unselfishly, and bless

them that curse us; but we shall never meet this great

duty simply by asking that it may be done. There is

a cross to be taken up before we can enjoy the fruition

of our hope and faith.

Practical religion

Dost thou “love the Lord thy God with all thy

heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind”?

This command includes much, even the sur-

render of all merely material sensation, affec-

tion, and worship. This is the El Dorado of Christianity.

It involves the Science of Life, and recognizes only the

divine control of Spirit, in which Soul is our master,

and material sense and human will have no place.

The chalice sacrificial

Are you willing to leave all for Christ, for Truth, and

so be counted among sinners? No! Do you really desire

to attain this point? No! Then why make long

prayers about it and ask to be Christians,

since you do not care to tread in the footsteps of our

dear Master? If unwilling to follow his example, why

pray with the lips that you may be partakers of his

nature? Consistent prayer is the desire to do right.


Prayer means that we desire to walk and will walk in

the light so far as we receive it, even though with bleed-

ing footsteps, and that waiting patiently on the Lord,

we will leave our real desires to be rewarded by Him.

The world must grow to the spiritual understanding

of prayer. If good enough to profit by Jesus’ cup of

earthly sorrows, God will sustain us under these sor-

rows. Until we are thus divinely qualified and are

willing to drink his cup, millions of vain repetitions

will never pour into prayer the unction of Spirit in

demonstration of power and “with signs following.”

Christian Science reveals a necessity for overcoming the

world, the flesh, and evil, and thus destroying all error.
Seeking is not sufficient. It is striving that enables

us to enter. Spiritual attainments open the door to a

higher understanding of the divine Life.

Perfunctory prayers

One of the forms of worship in Thibet is to carry a

praying-machine through the streets, and stop at the

doors to earn a penny by grinding out a

prayer. But the advance guard of progress has

paid for the privilege of prayer the price of persecution.

Asking amiss

Experience teaches us that we do not always receive

the blessings we ask for in prayer. There is some mis-

apprehension of the source and means of

all goodness and blessedness, or we should

certainly receive that for which we ask. The Scrip-

tures say: “Ye ask, and receive not, because ye ask

amiss, that ye may consume it upon your lusts.” That

which we desire and for which we ask, it is not always

best for us to receive. In this case infinite Love will

not grant the request. Do you ask wisdom to be mer-

ciful and not to punish sin? Then “ye ask amiss.”


Without punishment, sin would multiply. Jesus’ prayer,

“Forgive us our debts,” specified also the terms of

forgiveness. When forgiving the adulterous woman he

said, “Go, and sin no more.”

Remission of penalty

A magistrate sometimes remits the penalty, but this

may be no moral benefit to the criminal, and at best, it

only saves the criminal from one form of

punishment. The moral law, which has the

right to acquit or condemn, always demands restitu-

tion before mortals can “go up higher.” Broken law

brings penalty in order to compel this progress.

Truth annihilates error

Mere legal pardon (and there is no other, for divine

Principle never pardons our sins or mistakes till they

are corrected) leaves the offender free to re-

peat the offence, if indeed, he has not already

suffered sufficiently from vice to make him turn from it

with loathing. Truth bestows no pardon upon error, but

wipes it out in the most effectual manner. Jesus suffered

for our sins, not to annul the divine sentence for an in-

dividual’s sin, but because sin brings inevitable suffering.

Desire for holiness

Petitions bring to mortals only the results of mor-

tals’ own faith. We know that a desire for holiness is

requisite in order to gain holiness; but if we

desire holiness above all else, we shall sac-

rifice everything for it. We must be willing to do this,

that we may walk securely in the only practical road

to holiness. Prayer cannot change the unalterable

Truth, nor can prayer alone give us an understanding

of Truth; but prayer, coupled with a fervent habitual

desire to know and do the will of God, will bring us

into all Truth. Such a desire has little need of audible

expression. It is best expressed in thought and in life.


Prayer for the sick

“The prayer of faith shall save the sick,” says the

Scripture. What is this healing prayer? A mere re-

quest that God will heal the sick has no

power to gain more of the divine presence

than is always at hand. The beneficial effect of

such prayer for the sick is on the human mind, mak-

ing it act more powerfully on the body through a blind

faith in God. This, however, is one belief casting out

another,-a belief in the unknown casting out a belief

in sickness. It is neither Science nor Truth which

acts through blind belief, nor is it the human under-

standing of the divine healing Principle as manifested

in Jesus, whose humble prayers were deep and con-

scientious protests of Truth,-of man’s likeness to

God and of man’s unity with Truth and Love.
Prayer to a corporeal God affects the sick like a

drug, which has no efficacy of its own but borrows its

power from human faith and belief. The drug does

nothing, because it has no intelligence. It is a mortal

belief, not divine Principle or Love, which causes a

drug to be apparently either poisonous or sanative.
The common custom of praying for the recovery of the

sick finds help in blind belief, whereas help should come

from the enlightened understanding. Changes in belief

may go on indefinitely, but they are the merchandise of

human thought and not the outgrowth of divine Science.

Love impartial and universal

Does Deity interpose in behalf of one worshipper,

and not help another who offers the same measure of

prayer? If the sick recover because they

pray or are prayed for audibly, only peti-

tioners (per se or by proxy) should get well. In divine

Science, where prayers are mental, all may avail them-


selves of God as “a very present help in trouble.”

Love is impartial and universal in its adaptation and

bestowals. It is the open fount which cries, “Ho,

every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters.”

Public exaggerations

In public prayer we often go beyond our convictions,

beyond the honest standpoint of fervent desire. If we

are not secretly yearning and openly striv-

ing for the accomplishment of all we ask,

our prayers are “vain repetitions,” such as the heathen

use. If our petitions are sincere, we labor for what we

ask; and our Father, who seeth in secret, will reward

us openly. Can the mere public expression of our de-

sires increase them? Do we gain the omnipotent ear

sooner by words than by thoughts? Even if prayer is

sincere, God knows our need before we tell Him or our

fellow-beings about it. If we cherish the desire hon-

estly and silently and humbly, God will bless it, and

we shall incur less risk of overwhelming our real

wishes with a torrent of words.

Corporeal ignorance

If we pray to God as a corporeal person, this will

prevent us from relinquishing the human doubts and

fears which attend such a belief, and so we

cannot grasp the wonders wrought by infi-

nite, incorporeal Love, to whom all things are possible.

Because of human ignorance of the divine Principle,

Love, the Father of all is represented as a corporeal

creator; hence men recognize themselves as merely

physical, and are ignorant of man as God’s image or re-

flection and of man’s eternal incorporeal existence. The

world of error is ignorant of the world of Truth,-blind

to the reality of man’s existence,-for the world of sen-

sation is not cognizant of life in Soul, not in body.


Bodily presence

If we are sensibly with the body and regard omnipo-

tence as a corporeal, material person, whose ear we

would gain, we are not “absent from the

body” and “present with the Lord” in the

demonstration of Spirit. We cannot “serve two mas-

ters.” To be “present with the Lord” is to have, not

mere emotional ecstasy or faith, but the actual demon-

stration and understanding of Life as revealed in

Christian Science. To be “with the Lord” is to be in

obedience to the law of God, to be absolutely governed

by divine Love,-by Spirit, not by matter.

Spiritualized consciousness

Become conscious for a single moment that Life and

intelligence are purely spiritual,-neither in nor of

matter,-and the body will then utter no

complaints. If suffering from a belief in

sickness, you will find yourself suddenly well. Sorrow

is turned into joy when the body is controlled by spir-

itual Life, Truth, and Love. Hence the hope of the

promise Jesus bestows: “He that believeth on me,

the works that I do shall he do also; . . . because I

go unto my Father,”-[because the Ego is absent from

the body, and present with Truth and Love.] The

Lord’s Prayer is the prayer of Soul, not of material

Entirely separate from the belief and dream of mate-

rial living, is the Life divine, revealing spiritual under-

standing and the consciousness of man’s dominion

over the whole earth. This understanding casts out

error and heals the sick, and with it you can speak

“as one having authority.”
“When thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and,

when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father


which is in secret; and thy Father, which seeth in

secret, shall reward thee openly.”

Spiritual sanctuary

So spake Jesus. The closet typifies the sanctuary of

Spirit, the door of which shuts out sinful sense but

lets in Truth, Life, and Love. Closed to

error, it is open to Truth, and vice versa.

The Father in secret is unseen to the physical senses,

but He knows all things and rewards according to

motives, not according to speech. To enter into the

heart of prayer, the door of the erring senses must be

closed. Lips must be mute and materialism silent,

that man may have audience with Spirit, the divine

Principle, Love, which destroys all error.

Effectual invocation

In order to pray aright, we must enter into the

closet and shut the door. We must close the lips and

silence the material senses. In the quiet

sanctuary of earnest longings, we must

deny sin and plead God’s allness. We must resolve to

take up the cross, and go forth with honest hearts to

work and watch for wisdom, Truth, and Love. We

must “pray without ceasing.” Such prayer is an-

swered, in so far as we put our desires into practice.

The Master’s injunction is, that we pray in secret and

let our lives attest our sincerity.

Trustworthy beneficence

Christians rejoice in secret beauty and bounty, hidden

from the world, but known to God. Self-forgetfulness,

purity, and affection are constant prayers.

Practice not profession, understanding not

belief, gain the ear and right hand of omnipotence and

they assuredly call down infinite blessings. Trustworthi-

ness is the foundation of enlightened faith. Without a

fitness for holiness, we cannot receive holiness.


Loftiest adoration

A great sacrifice of material things must precede this

advanced spiritual understanding. The highest prayer

is not one of faith merely; it is demonstra-

tion. Such prayer heals sickness, and must

destroy sin and death. It distinguishes between Truth

that is sinless and the falsity of sinful sense.

The prayer of Jesus Christ

Our Master taught his disciples one brief prayer,

which we name after him the Lord’s Prayer. Our Mas-

ter said, “After this manner therefore pray

ye,” and then he gave that prayer which

covers all human needs. There is indeed some doubt

among Bible scholars, whether the last line is not an

addition to the prayer by a later copyist; but this does

not affect the meaning of the prayer itself.
In the phrase, “Deliver us from evil,” the original

properly reads, “Deliver us from the evil one.” This

reading strengthens our scientific apprehension of the peti-

tion, for Christian Science teaches us that “the evil one,” or

one evil, is but another name for the first lie and all liars.
Only as we rise above all material sensuousness and

sin, can we reach the heaven-born aspiration and spir-

itual consciousness, which is indicated in the Lord’s

Prayer and which instantaneously heals the sick.
Here let me give what I understand to be the spir-

itual sense of the Lord’s Prayer:

Our Father which art in heaven,

Our Father-Mother God, all-harmonious,

Hallowed be Thy name.

Adorable One.

Thy kingdom come.

Thy kingdom is come; Thou art ever-present.


Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Enable us to know,-as in heaven, so on earth,-God is

omnipotent, supreme.

Give us this day our daily bread;

Give us grace for to-day; feed the famished affections;

And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.

And Love is reflected in love;

And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from


And God leadeth us not into temptation, but delivereth

us from sin, disease, and death.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the

glory, forever.

For God is infinite, all-power, all Life, Truth, Love, over

all, and All.