The crucial moment in President Joe Biden's inaugural address, says David DeCosse in a commentary for NCR, was when he wrapped his moving call for the unity of the American people in the words of 4th century Catholic theologian St. Augustine.
Biden said: "Many centuries ago, St. Augustine, a saint of my church, wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love." And Biden enumerated what he thought those common objects are: "opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honor, and, yes, the truth."
St. Augustine can contribute to the challenge of American unity not by telling us what our objects of love should be, as much as by showing us how we ought to love, DeCosse says. "For Augustine, love both unmasks injustice and creates a people."