I have mentioned that art is legitimized in some sense simply by the fact that it is there.
Externals are utterly faithful representations of internals. Actions are manifetations of the mind, which is the product of choices. Societies faithfully show us choices that a body of people make. Trends represent choices based on what the mind declares to be necessary. Art is the touchable(or these days not-so-touchable, but sensable) picture of an invisible source.
If my body/intellect is contingent on my spirit, my art is contingent on my body/intellect. The same way, my spirit is contingent on God, who is spirit. As are all things. God inhabits the universe as the spirit inhabits the body, it has been said.
Thus my art is not ultimate reality, but it is a window into ultimate reality, into irreducible existence. All it must do, then, is represent a something that is more inward then itself. Gee that's a pretty broad definition of art.
Must it represent God then, the ultimate, irreducible reality? Well, it seems that it does whether it intends to or not. If the artist is taking a shot at something invisible, perhaps "farther down" than the, say, sculpture, she is only shooting at something less visible than the sculpture, which is in turn contingent upon, and more visible than God. Or you may add as many steps in between as you prefer.
So what do I do with art and music that is lascivious, offensive, harmful, degrading, immoral, pagan, Nazi, neo-liberal, Republican, gay, absurd, unreedemable, establishmentist, sophomoric, novice, cold, libertine, abstract, idealistic?
The twentieth century saw a blurring of the lines between art and audience, art and entertainment, art and work, art and personal conversation, art and life. Do we need a line between "good/moral/spiritual art" and "bad/immoral/unspiritual" art? Perhaps to acknowledge our personal taste, govern what is allowed access to our selfhood, save time when it comes to judging what we will listen to and look at, and what we will not. But do I need to go into attack(defense?) mode over the downhill slide of modern culture? Or is this just the inner jury, the manager complex, the bug-eyed anxious grab at the video game controller someone has just beaten us to? "People get angry when they are defending something they believe because they don't actually believe it. Or else because they are actually defending their self-esteem." (paraphrase TM)
Let's say I have discovered that bluegrass music is, irreducibly, the best form of music there is. I have seen that it is the best representation of artistic righteousness in music, technically, morally, and spiritually. I naturally go home and discard, perhaps ritually burn, all my non-bluegrass CDs. I poster my walls with bluegrass artists. I attend festivals that are devoted strictly to the purest form of bluegrass, untainted by the waves of musical miscegenating libertines and their electric instruments, their long hair, their rock 'n' roll beats, and their minor seventh chords.
Have I then denied a real world fact of non-bluegrass. Not to mention the invisible reality that supports the existence of the music- namely people's like of other idioms? Perhaps even ignorance that the bluegrass idiom exists?
Is God in denial? (of anything, not just bluegrass...)