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Why must we ask, "what makes art sacred rather than secular?"

In a sense, everything is defined by what it is not. For example, "left" has no meaning apart from "right" -- we know what is "left" because it is "not right." So the sacred and the secular, which are categories which describe or define or characterize things, are themselves each defined by the other. As categories, they are each also defined by that which is categorized by the other. For example, if the category of "good" is defined as "that which is not bad" then everything in the category "good", such as mom and apple pie, cannot be included the category "bad". So the things categorize as "bad" cannot include mom and apple pie, which means that mom and apple pie define what is bad, because they are not it.

This means that anything considered sacred cannot be secular. If a painting is sacred then it is not secular. If it is both, then the categories become meaningless.

Of course, we can create a third category, which is neither secular nor sacred, and that is ok In fact, we will --- and we will talk about secular art, sacred art and psychological art. What is in one category is not in the other two.