Jeroboam created a substitute system of worship for the people of Israel. His line of reasoning was "it is too much for you to go up to Jerusalem." His public explanation for his substitute places of worship feigned a concern for the welfare of the people. It is not that Jeroboam believed these calves actually brought the people up out of Egypt. Rather they became the visible representation of God. He just made it easier for people to "worship God."
I do not have the prerogative to establish the guidelines for worship. That belongs to God alone. A religion of convenience soon leads to backsliding. As verse 30 says "this thing became a sin." When I reduce the requirements God has established I do not serve the people. Rather I lead them into sin.
The obligations in Christianity must not be determined by committee nor by opinion polls. I must seek to be obedient to the revelation of the Word of God.
This was not the last time a politician sought to use religion to advance his own political agenda.