Question:

Hello! I just read a question answered on your website about idolatry: Is having a symbol of Christianity idolatry? In it idolatry was defined as "anything you turn to for guidance or security." While that makes sense, to what level of guidance and security are you describing?  You see, I still sleep with my Blankie, and I don't want to let go of him (yes, a "him" pronoun. How cute right?) Is that different?

Also, concerning guidance, how do you mean? Is that like praying to something besides God, like Mary for example?

Is there a difference between idolatry and obsessions? Like being zealous about a favorite band or a of hobby? Although they can become unhealthy fads, is it too far-fetched to consider them as idolatry?

Thanks!


Answer:

A blanket is not an idol because you don't expect the blanket to tell you which way you should decide. While you derive comfort from having something familiar with you, the truth is that it doesn't really protect you. You don't worship it as something that controls your life.

Yes, praying to Mary, who is just a human, is a form of establishing a false god. When people die, they are no longer involved in the affairs of this world. "For the living know that they will die; but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward, for the memory of them is forgotten. Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished; nevermore will they have a share In anything done under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 9:5-6). Thus, praying to someone dead is as useless as praying to a stone or wood carving.

An obsession is "an idea or thought that continually preoccupies or intrudes on a person's mind." It is what you think about much of the time. A obsessed person doesn't think his focus of obsession will do anything for him or help him make good decisions. The closest it gets is that he might allow some of his behavior to be controlled by his obsession, such as not being able to go to sleep without a blanket; yet, that isn't what idolatry truly is.