To be radical, then, in the sense that I am after, is to return all the way back to the source of an argument, to dig all the way down to its foundation. To go with the Latinate metaphor, we are radical when we refuse to follow a particular tree along the course of its growth and development, because we think that it has been planted in the wrong place all along. Ditching the metaphor: We refuse to accept a dispute as it has been presented to us, because we know that by then far too much has been presumed already. This, I want to suggest to you, is the stance that we Catholics ought to take towards practically all the debates going on around us today. Rather than taking sides, we need to step back, see what the sides have in common, and, most probably, take sides against that.
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