Q & R: Year of the Suicide Machine

Here’s the Q:

2018 feels like the “year of the Suicide Machine.”

What insights have you had since writing “Everything Must Change”?

Who do you see acting to “change everything” towards the Common Good of creation?

I give thanks for God working through you,


Here’s the R:

First, for those who aren’t aware, “suicide machine” is a phrase that plays heavily in my book Everything Must Change, which you can check out (and order!) here. https://brianmclaren.net/store/

And yes, sadly, 2018 feels like the year of the suicide machine. I wrote a song while I was writing Everything Must Change that captures 2018 pretty well. I’ve copied the lyrics below (slightly edited since the original), and you can listen to a recording here: https://brianmclaren.bandcamp.com/track/love-and-justice


Love and Justice

Am                              G                  Am

When politicians lie and steal to lengthen their regimes,

Am                                     G           E7

When corporations buy and sell souls for profit,

When factories breathe acid and poison lakes and streams,

And every day the earth gets hotter, who will stop it?


Am                            Em                                 Am

Spirit of love and justice, may we be the ones!


When terrorists plot violence and governments do too

When scientists and engineers improve our kill-power

When parents sit in silence, not knowing what to do,

Who will stir the dying embers of good-will power?


When churches pray for peace but live by fear and war

When preachers tickle racist ears and twist the story

No wonder people don’t believe anymore

They know we need better news of hope and glory


The human race is building a suicide machine.

Consumers shop and play their games as gears are turning.

When will we awaken from this addictive scheme

And seek a better way of life and love and learning?


The heroes we’ve been praying for face us in the mirror.

We are social poets of a brighter future.

The time requires the choir to sing louder, stronger, clearer …

The song of justice, joy, and peace in Spirit power!


As for who I see acting for love and justice?

Thanks be to God, as the religious regressives move backward, I believe the Spirit is stirring up more and more people with vision, courage, wisdom, and compassion to move forward. And here’s what I see: it’s not that one religion is moving forward and the others backward. It’s that backward and forward movement can be found in nearly every religious community. I’m not thankful to Trump for many things, but I suppose I should be thankful for this: as he has seduced so many to follow his mean-spirited, desecrating, greedy, vicious, vengeful path, he has challenged others to stand up and be counted to be part of a positive, creative resistance. May this tribe increase!