In his book The Prophets, Norman Podhoretz points out that idolatry is not so much to "go after other gods" as to make a god of oneself. The "worshippers of idols . . . were bowing down to the work of their own hands. What they were worshiping was themselves. And in worshiping themselves, in trusting in themselves as though they were gods, they not only failed to acquire superhuman status, but they lost even such powers as were granted to human beings, becoming as dead to the world as the idols they constructed."

A Wall Street Journal reviewer observes that "Mr. Podhoretz sees a version of such idolatry today, particularly in the hubristic culture that has grown up around us since the 1960s and in its antinomian spirit, according to which true authenticity requires a radical individualism, a freedom from moral law -- a striving to make, in essence, gods of the self."