Robert Barron | – Has Liberalism Failed? – Bishop Barron Presents: A Conversation Featuring Dave Rubin

Friends, it is my pleasure to share the latest “Bishop Barron Presents” discussion, featuring author and podcaster Dave Rubin. In our conversation, we uncover the underlying issues fueling today’s partisan politics and the culture of contempt. Further, we discuss how to engage in constructive dialogue for the sake of the common good. We also examine:

– Classical liberalism and how it relates to other political systems
– How “woke” politics undermine a truly liberal society
– The limits of liberalism and Enlightenment values
– Freedom and responsibility in our social order
– The emergence of idolatry towards political leaders
– The Jordan Peterson phenomenon
– And how to have a productive and healthy religious argument

Stay tuned for future “Bishop Barron Presents” conversations. These videos will focus on pertinent intellectual topics, where I engage with speakers from across varying religious and political perspectives. My hope for these videos is that they serve as an antidote to partisanship and unchecked ideology.

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About The Author

Bishop Robert Barron These are brief and insightful commentaries on faith and culture by Catholic theologian and author Bishop Robert Barron. The videos complement his weekly sermons posted and podcasted at

Comment (48)

  1. Guys, Bishop Barron is reaching Dave Rubin and his entire audience because of this interview – reaching people that would otherwise never listen to a Bishop speak – this is part of evangelization!

  2. 'Equality and freedom' are stressed several times here.
    I would like to inject Jordan Peterson's distinguishing between equality of opportunity vs equality of outcome.

    I think equality of outcome – and especially forcing it – is actually the antithesis of freedom.
    And I think that is perhaps where this New Left is most especially getting things wrong… If we promote freedom, we can never promise equality of outcome. Equality of outcome, on the other hand, can't really co-exist with freedom.

  3. Bishop Barron is a blessing for this country. He speaks whereas other Catholic bishops say they aim for transparency, but say nothing and hide out waiting for someone else to step forward. No one ( very few)in Catholic hierarchy speaks the truth, dare not, for fear. Some fear losing a spot in their quest for higher position in higher

  4. I commend Bishop Baron on being willing to hold discussions with Dave Rubin. Both are intelligent men. Having a guy that looks like an ex-NFL player can't hurt either. Why? Well… ponder why so "the Muslims" in American prisons are respected by violent prison inmates of all colors in that if you attack a Muslim that Muslim army in prison may get into a mass brawl with x prison gang. Bishop Baron also cuts a good figure in uniform. He has a talent as a film critic too. I don't care for his views on the McCarrick report though.

  5. Oh, I fine Bishop Barron and a thoughtful and engaging religious leader – even when i rarely find agreement. But this conversation left me feeling sad for the participants. I felt like it was three old white due who did not even realised that the debate about Liberalism is long over and ended in a Triumph. Our public discourse has long moved on.

    But I guess they can chat away – it doesn't hurt. It thankfully makes no difference at all.

  6. I'm all for an encounter with those we disagree with as Catholics but we also have to look out for each other. Dave Rubin strikes me as a gateway to some much more negative stuff that truly runs contrary to the charism of the Church. I would just invite some of you to browse the suggested videos on the right hand side of the screen. Idk about you but I'm seeing Jordan Petterson and Ben Shapiro pop up via YouTube's algorithm. The algorithm suggests those kinds of voices after Dave Rubin for a reason. We politically active Catholics tend to be directed toward radical conservatives and a form far-right American politics that simply does not align with Church teaching. I love Bishop Robert Barron's work and I seek to support Word On Fire in many ways; but it would have gone a long way to protecting Barron's audience if he were to put a pretty hefty disclaimer on a video like this. To put it in biblical terms it feels like this is letting the wolves into sell the sheep on coming into the wolves den.

  7. The Tocqueville Effect: "The phenomenon in which as social conditions and opportunities improve, social frustration grows more quickly. The effect is based on Alexis de Tocqueville's observations on the French Revolution and later reforms in Europe and the United States. Another way to describe the effect is the aphorism "the appetite grows by what it feeds on". For instance, after greater social justice is achieved, there may be more fervent opposition to even smaller social injustices than before."

    This would also be an example of René Girard's Mimetic Theory, and as you both recognize here, is an infinite regress ("Battling to the End"), leading either to the Kingdom of God, or the Apocalypse.

  8. I used to like Bsp. Barron, but I'm beginning to think he's a right-wing reactionary like Rubin and Peterson. Does the bishop give platforms to prominent left-wing or mainstream thinkers, too? He should — if he's truly the intellectual he presents himself as.

  9. Religion is part of the secular mind control. If it weren't so, they wouldn't allow it on the internet and their platforms. And yet they do. Google has 308 pages each with 25 images of jesus on each page. Classic controlled opposition. Youtube is even more flagrant with maybe millions of videos of jesus and religion under the guise of freedom to publish. These are known secularist but then why would they allow this!!! I'm posing this as a question but I already know the answer. God is not a good guy that they insist! He rules us with a set of problems he has the answer for already! Understand if he knows the future why do it then. Separate the good and the bad without the suffering. But suffering is what produces what they need! The fifth element "Quanta" The force that powers this reality! I post negative secularist videos on youtube and my reach is nothing. Shouldn't my vids. be promoted by a secularist platform instead of shouted down!?!?!?!?!?!?!The duality is the reoccurring theme in a ton of movies and series. Saw Star Trek continues with some added cliches about morals dilemmas and moral decay yesterday. Understand without the duopoly there is not conflict. So why write so much in to this reality?!?!?!?! Think it through and pay mind to this occurrence.

  10. 17:00 Rubin states that one day they'll come to tear down the MLK statues. How I wish that day were now. That abominable monolith in DC needs to be judged by the content of its Maoist character and go back to China. It dishonors King who was nothing like it. What would he say about it if he could speak to us now?

  11. The representative of the power that has been in control forever….speaks with Rubin (of the second power) in order to maintain and consolidate the position of Rome. Note that neither one of these gentlemen is a Christian….

  12. 38:4539:15 I find Bishop Barron’s comment interesting because when I went to the pre-marital class at my church with my then future husband, the priest told me specifically that it was my responsibility to keep my family faithful to the church.
    Btw, not saying I disagree with him.

  13. The cults of personality that have formed behind the likes of Peterson and Rubin represent the corruption of religion in America, no it's salvation. They are grifters appealing to an audience that mistake pride for authority, and who tarnish whatever worthwhile points they could be making by deliberately misrepresenting their opposition and appealing to feelings of spite and petty anger to profit off conflict and fear.

  14. The BOX (a code of behavior):

    In Stephen Covey’s book, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, he points out that we tend not to be listeners. When both parties want to speak first, neither is interested in what the other has to say. It is a conversation of the deaf. It’s a collective monolog.

    There are times in every endeavor when thinking outside the box is necessary. However, there first must be a BOX! For me, as an American citizen, the political box is the US Constitution which is based on centuries of Judeo Christian ethics. Without the box, there is only destructive chaos! That box is centered with two opposing forces, one to the right and one to the left, pulling on it. The box is not rigid and it is not meant to be rigid. Changes to it are made as needed. To maintain the box’s integrity there needs to be meaningful dialogue between the right and the left. The only way that the informed citizenry can elect representatives who will make those proper adjustments to the box is to have a journalistic news media instead of what we have today i.e. a news media filled with bias commentators.

  15. I wish that the community of male clergy hadn't sexually abused so many children for so many decades without consequences to any of those men, it has become a wall against anyone wanting the Church having anything to do with anything in their lives. It has become generation after generation who were sexually abused.

  16. Classical Liberalism created the conditions for Marxism and Communism to develop as movements due to the failure of the state, to try and assert that what we need is Classical Liberalism again to fix everything is to simultaneously not understand history and also to be a massive, massive idiot trying to sound complex at the same time.

  17. Hmmm…."looking up". I noticed something about my son's generation when he was really young. All his friends had Game Boys. I had tried to stave off the video game world for as long as I could. The world of children who played video games was very linear. From left to right. once their concentration entered into the screen they held in their hand. So linear a world, that on the playground when they tried to play by recreating a computer game world, the obstacle course they created was linear. Left to right. I began to wonder how would this gaming experience change actual thinking patterns, and responses in our children. Another thing I noticed was that whenever there was an obstacle on their video game screen, the player had to blast it to pieces to get it out of the way. What were the implications of that? I thought. Has it taught intolerance? Has it rewired young minds to a sort of linear thinking? Has it rewired young minds to intolerance on every level? Also, they were playing within human created worlds. Fantasy worlds. 
    Also, back when I was a kid, the heroes were clearly dillineated from the villains. In my son's childhood, that clear distinction began to blurr. Not just within the video game world, but everywhere, in books, and movies too. I am not blaming video games, but when you were all speaking about how people do not "look up", and how it seems that our culture has become so subjective, my thoughts went to my earlier observations of my son's generation. So, I am just putting that out there. Not to "dis" video gaming, necessarily. But I did wonder about the implications back then. What are we unconsciously teaching our children, I thought.

  18. No, there are people who do leave the US, and not because they are billionaires. US Americans should humble themselves, not everyone wants to live in the US, and for various reasons. There are many other wonderful places in the world, and the US may not be suited to what one wants out of life, or experience.
    The argument that no one ever (wants) to leave is frankly quite false and isn't becoming. When stating that falsehood, one just passes for an ignorant, self-congratulating jerk. Please stop saying such stupidities.

  19. Antonio Gramsci identified religion as a mode of cultural production that confidence in to prepare a Western society for a Marxist revolution–going so far as to say something like "socialism is the religion that must replace Christianity".

  20. I love Bishop Barron, but I'm sorry…I can't stand Dave Rubin. Wokeism sucks. But Dave Rubin sounds like a complete whiner when talking about it and goes off on tangents and rants. Makes Bishop Barron look like he's a part of this anti-woke whiny group, when in reality he's very thoughful and incredibly intelligent and doesn't let any frustration get to him, as is clearly seen in ALL his videos. Hope he doesn't do this with Rubin again.

  21. Bishop Barron is very interesting though he is a catholic he understands some of the basics of Enlightenment thought. I am a Hussite but I try to learn from all Christians no matter their sects.