There are some Christian ideas that are easily translatable into secular ideas. For example, a sin is just something that's morally wrong. And so when Christians say homosexuality is a sin but they're not judging, nobody is fooled.
Idolatry, on the other hand, is a mystery. You shall have no other gods before YHWH... why?
not up on my Biblical history, but my understanding is that at the
time, polytheism was common, and early Jews believed their god was just
one of many. So the rule about idolatry basically expresses the
jealousy and pettiness of their god. It is also an expression of
ethnocentrism--you shall never leave our group or ever adopt practices
from other groups. This law is basically awful and a force for evil.
In many modern interpretations, idolatry is not so much about other gods, but about other "gods". You're not supposed to hold any
idea higher than the one god. For example, any form of addiction can
be described as idolatry since the object of addiction is being held
higher than God. For another example, atheists are frequently described
as idolatrous because they're supposedly replacing God with reason or
This frankly leads to a very poor
understanding of addiction or atheism. It's a peculiarly
Christian-centric worldview, to say that everyone is just like you only
sometimes they deviate from the platonic ideal in certain ways. This is
the sort of thing that makes people think it's appropriate for
Alcoholics Anonymous to refer to God "as you understand him". Have you
considered that some of us just don't have a God-analogue in our lives?
also find it strange to have a rule which basically says, the beliefs
specific to our group are the most important. Nothing else in your life
should be as important. This is just more ethnocentrism, and it should
not be an explicit value.