Oftentimes, Catholics say that Protestants reject the Deuterocanon because it contains “essential doctrines” like prayers for, and to, the dead. Ironically, the opposite is true. 2 Macc 12 never endorses the practice and Wisdom of Solomon 14:12-21 actually condemns such creeping idolatry:

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Idols were made in the images of man and beast. However, not all idols began as gods…

For the idea of making idols was the beginning of fornication,
and the invention of them was the corruption of life;
for they did not exist from the beginning,
nor will they last forever.
For through human vanity they entered the world,
and therefore their speedy end has been planned.

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Gabriel the Child Martyr was honored by his parents after he was found murdered.

For a father, consumed with grief at an untimely bereavement,
made an image of his child, who had been suddenly taken from him;
he now honored as a god what was once a dead human being,
and handed on to his dependents secret rites and initiations.

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Alexei Nikolaevich, son of Tsar Nicholas II, last Tsar of Russia

Then the ungodly custom, grown strong with time, was kept as a law,
and at the command of monarchs carved images were worshiped.

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Tsar Nicholas II and his family, saints venerated in the Eastern Orthodox Church.

When people could not honor monarchs in their presence, since they lived at a distance,
they imagined their appearance far away,
and made a visible image of the king whom they honored,
so that by their zeal they might flatter the absent one as though present.

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A modern icon of Constantine.

Then the ambition of the artisan impelled
even those who did not know the king to intensify their worship.
For he, perhaps wishing to please his ruler,
skillfully forced the likeness to take more beautiful form,
and the multitude, attracted by the charm of his work,
now regarded as an object of worship the one whom shortly before they had honored as a human being.

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A massive statue of the supposed “Queen of Heaven” in Santa Clara, CA.

And this became a hidden trap for humankind,
because people, in bondage to misfortune or to royal authority,
bestowed on objects of stone or wood the name that ought not to be shared.

 

The chapter ends with a warning: [J]ust penalties will overtake them on two counts: because they thought wrongly about God in devoting themselves to idols, and because in deceit they swore unrighteously through contempt for holiness.
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