Custom Is Not King

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I look around at what I see and say:
Custom is not King.
But so many maintain, “When in Rome,
Do as the Romans do!
Have people killed for public amusement,
Battling to the death to furnish shallow circuses for mobs."
After all, why not?
Is not raw custom to be king?
Is compassion not relative?
Truth varied,
Decency to be defined by context?
Is not this the cry today?
All is relative, whatever goes?

No, custom is not the king,
Customs must be examined and judged.
Though many customs are to be respected for good purpose,
Other customs are not to be so respected.
If that were true, custom made a law unto itself,
Slavery would still do.
If custom were the test of good,
Suttee would still be.
Custom is not enough.
Custom is a fashion that changes,
While the Universal Spirit exists to spiritualize
Through any faith or all faiths or half a faith,
The gross barbarism of brutally materialistic customs.

How shallow and unthinking it is to say,
“Customs are the way to go, how relative all is.”
As God is love, and love is not relative.
It either is or it isn’t. If it is,
Love must disdain much of what this earth seems.
Make an effort to see what a custom really means,
As custom cannot be arbiter in logic and supreme.
Wherever there is love, there is God,
And where love reigns,
Custom is not the King.
Love looks to other things.


Dr. James MacLeod may be contacted through the Neill Macaulay Foundation.