"Speaking up for Christ and his mother (and ours) is a solemn duty, not an option." This is exactly correct, with the operative word being "speaking" - not beating down. As it is written "Go proclaim to all nations."
As far as the theological apologies for the veneration (not worship) of Mary, the Saints and holy icons; there is no way 8 centuries of blood, sweat and tears of the one Church after Pentecost can be distilled to fit on a comment section of a web page. If people are interested, I suggest unbiased research into the first centuries of the Church.