You shall not make for yourself any graven idol, … You shall not bow down to them or serve them;
— Exodus 20:4-5
I imagine that most people would consider the prohibition to worship any graven images the most out-of-date commandment of the Decalogue (the Ten Words)—just a commandment that may have been important a few thousand years ago in the midst of all of the pagan image worshipers. But before the words written in the tables of stone by the finger of the Almighty had even cooled, the people had made a graven image of a golden calf and had risen up to worship it right beneath the face of Jehovah.
Because we in the Western world have lived so long with the Christian culture we would not think of worshiping a statue of any sort. However, as Christianity wanes in the Western lands, in come the foreign gods: from Allah to Hindu gods, from crystals and horoscopes to tarot cards. We are not immune to the love of foreign gods. Perhaps this should give us pause the next time we see a statue of Buddha in a Chinese restaurant.