Everyone piles on the Catholic church about idolatry, but I just realized today that all of Christianity has deep roots in idolatry, even back to the times of the Bible, though most idols are not as obvious as the ones in the Catholic church.
We've all seen vampire movies or The Exorcist or something similar where the "evil" is driven back by a cross or crucifix. That symbol is a form of idol. Christians believe the shape itself to have power. It is a "holy" symbol. And at the front of most churches you will find an altar, as the Bible mentions were in the tabernacles of the day. That altar is a form of idol. It is a physical thing which links people to their deity. Hell, the Bible itself is an idol. Mention that you wipe your ass with its pages and you may get your ass kicked in the wrong company. I remember I once hit a Bible which was dusty to show how much dust was on it and got chewed out about it (apparently me striking the idol was a far worse offense than its owner leaving it untouched for months on the dash of his car).
The idols of general Christianity are not in the shapes of people or God himself (except for the crucifix, which portrays Jesus), but every Christian church I have ever been in has some idol in it, not even counting the Bibles or the altar. My old Pentecostal church had a portrait of Jesus for a while until they decided that was to "idol-y" and removed it. For a long time they had a cross with a crown of thorns placed on it until they decided the cross was too "idol-y". Last I knew they had just the crown of thorns on the back wall, likely because that item was so unusual that the "upper management" never thought to specifically spell out that, also, was an improper object of worship.
When you think about it, that is actually a running theme in all the Judeo-Christian religions, as well as others. Catholicism is by far the worst at it, of course. They need a new idol in the form of a "saint" every few years, but they all seem to feel the need to have some physical object to connect them to their deity. Muslims have the meteorite that they pretend current understanding doesn't explain. Jews practically invented the altar in the Old Testament. Hindus have depictions of their various gods. Buddhists have their Buddha statues. Wiccans have their various magical instruments. Catholics have...well, most everything on the planet. Even native Americans have various animals and devices of worship such as dream catchers and medicine sacks. Hell, I can't think of a single religious belief system which doesn't have some form of physical thing which is revered as somehow being connected to the particular magical thing they believe in. All of these things could arguably be called "idols".
I just found the thought interesting. Even more so as I was typing and realized that when you look at it this way the only thing which really sets any given religious or spiritual belief system apart from any other is when, as in the Catholic Church, the sheer number of physical connections they need to their object of worship grows to ridiculous proportions. It seems to be a running theme throughout history, too. Ancient Egyptians were buried with their magic spells. Simply "casting" the spell wasn't enough. They needed a physical copy for it to be "real". It makes me wonder exactly what's going on in the mind to cause this strange effect, to fuel the need to have some physical thing to connect people to the spiritual world. They accept the pure spiritual nature of their particular object of worship only in concept, not as an actual reality. They need some physical thing that they can see and touch to feel connected to it.