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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Jan 22, 2021

Jeffrey Mirus holds a Ph.D. in intellectual history from Princeton University. A co-founder of Christendom College, he also pioneered Catholic Internet services. He is the founder of Trinity Communications and See full bio.

Some Catholic commentators are wringing their hands now about the polarization in the United States (and certainly many other places), and the need for everyone to come together in a process of healing under the new Administration of Joe Biden. Indeed, Biden himself has emphasized the importance of healing the wounds of our divisions. But this is simply standard political rhetoric for a man who campaigned on a platform precisely designed to rub the wounds raw, and who has already deliberately poured salt in the wounds by, among other things, his appointments to leadership positions in the Department of Health and Human Services.

As we move into the Biden era, Catholics must remember that there are two kinds of polarization at work in American politics (and certainly in many other places). One type of polarization is based on preferences for differing positions about which good people can disagree. The best policy on immigration is usually an example of this first sort of polarization. People can be seriously divided on immigration questions, and for a great many different reasons. Very few of the reasons run afoul of Catholic social teaching on this subject, and these few only when they are essentially irrational, such as arising from mere prejudice. One thing which differences of this type have in common is that the various solutions admit of perfectly moral compromises.  …