Sunday Song Lyric:
In 1950, Harper & Brothers published The God that Failed, edited by Richard Crossman, a collection of essays by prominent writers explaining their rejection of Communism. The contributors were all literary giants of their time: Ignazio Siolne, Richard Wright, Arthur Koestler, Louis Fischer, Stephen Spender, and Andre Gide. Each essay chronicled the author's initial commitment to, and eventual turn away from, Communism as a guiding ideology. While most remained men of the Left, they all firmly rejected the Communist ideal. Given the intellectual currents of the time, the book made an important statement and helped fuel the growth of anti-communism among intellectuals. As the New York Herald Tribune commented, the book made "an important contribution to our understanding of Communism in its full dimensions and awful depths."

In 1991, Metallica released the song "The God that Failed" on their self-titled album (sometimes referred to as their "black album"), one of the greatest heavy metal works of all time. Roling Stone called it an "exemplary album of mature but still kickass rock & roll," and that it is. While some long-time fans rejectd the album -- largely for extending the band's musical and lyrical range beyond the territory covered in prior albums (and achieving commercial success) -- it catapulted Metallica to true rock stardom.

Whereas the writers in Crossman's volume targeted Communism, James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich trained their sights on Christian Science (if not Christianity as a whole) after Hetfield's mother died of cancer having refused medical treatment due to her religious beliefs. The song is hardly the literary or intellectual equivalent of the essays in The God that Failed , but it does capture the pain and anger of disillusionment suggested by the title, and makes a powerful statement.

Pride you took
Pride you feel
Pride that you felt when you'd kneel
Not the word
Not the love
Not what you thought from above

It feeds
It grows
It clouds all that you will know
Decide what you believe

I see faith in your eyes
Never you hear the discouraging lies
I hear faith in your cries
Broken is the promise, betrayal
The healing hand held back by the deepened nail
Follow the God that failed

Find your peace
Find your say
find the smooth road on your way
Trust you gave
A child to save
Left you cold and him in grave