David Warren

David Warren is a Canadian journalist who writes mostly on international affairs. His Web site is www.davidwarrenonline.com.

recent articles

The Idler: The Rival

The “Battle of Khartoon”—the international Muslim apoplexy in response to a handful of cartoons of Muhammad in an obscure Danish provincial newspaper—was the most significant world event since 9/11. This is because, in combination with other developments—including the victory of Hamas in a Palestinian election, Iran’s public promise to “wipe Israel off the map,” Muslim … Read more

The Idler: Mass and Modernity

For some time, I had been aware of “Jonathan Robinson of the Oratory” as a writer and interesting priest. I was, however, too shy and Anglican to come near. But when I resolved to be received into the Catholic Church, there was a happy accident: I was sent to him for catechetical instruction. This was, … Read more

The Idler: John Muggeridge (1933-2005)

Adversities we have had, but also incredible luck, as I am reminded by the passing of my very dear friend John Muggeridge on November 25, 2005. American Catholic readers may know him as the son of the late Malcolm Muggeridge and as one of the finest contributors to the late J. P. McFadden’s Human Life … Read more

The Idler: Bah. Humbug.

St. Francis of Assisi famously advised us to put extra straw in the barn at Christmas, for otherwise, how would the dumb animals know it was time to rejoice in Our Lord? Perhaps the same argument could be made in defense of the commercialization of Christmas. Granted, the spectacle of wallowing materialism is crass in … Read more

The Idler: Lesson from Katrina

It is a mystery to any hack writer, filling space between the ads in the daily fishwrappers, when one of his columns takes a life of its own and begins flitting through Christendom on little electronic beetle wings. (Well, okay, spreading through America.) Let me bashfully tell you I wrote such a thing, which appeared … Read more

The Idler: Center of the World

In my day job as a political columnist, I have found myself riveted to the question of Iraq’s constitution. I do hope that, by the time this column appears, there will still be some prospect of one, for leaving the country in the condition of Somalia can be in no one’s interests except those of … Read more

The Idler: Take Heed

If you cannot be a shining example to your children, then be a terrible warning to them,” was the advice the great Anne Muggeridge gave me on parenting. It is advice that can be extended to other fields, including the didactic role of nations. Canada is the country of my birth and parentage, where I … Read more

The Idler: Culture of Death

“Euthanasia” is one of many euphemisms that have managed to stick in the moral mud of our late modern world. The current sense dates from the 18th century. Before that, the word had meant only “a gentle and easy death.” The Enlightenment extension of this, to the implication that such a death could be chosen, … Read more

The Idler: Something Personal

Karol Wojtyla was elected to the papacy in October 1978, a little more than half my life ago. I heard the news in Thai, from a radio playing in a little curry shop along the Charoen Krung Road in Bangkok. My Thai was not very good, and the name was pronounced oddly and tonally, but … Read more

The Idler: Annulments

On the pope’s orders, the Vatican has recently revised canon law interpretations on annulments for the first time since 1936. A lot had happened since then. I am no canon lawyer, so I won’t choose between the headlines that said, “Vatican acts to speed annulments,” and those that said, “Vatican moves to stem annulments.” My … Read more

The Idler: Evolution

Without quite intending, I have just done an experiment in a little corner of the “mainstream media” that consisted of writing about evolution on four successive Wednesdays in a column for a Canadian newspaper. I was writing not as a scientist or theologian, but as a reasonably intelligent person who has long been interested in … Read more

The Idler: The Dignity of Children

As one grows older one does not necessarily grow wiser, as evidenced by several of my oldest friends, to say nothing of myself. Some people had more sense in high school, and one is tempted to speculate that a kindlier fate might have whisked them out of this world at the age of 17, both … Read more

The Idler: In Paul’s Footsteps

The migration of the Catholic vote in the United States from the Democrats to the Republicans has been much discussed. It is topical: The swing from the nominally Catholic John F. Kerry to the more sympathetically Methodist George W. Bush was substantial. Catholics were once reliable Democrats; we would seem now to be reemerging as … Read more

The Idler: Try. Try Again

It is entirely possible that we have now had a surfeit of American politics. As a Catholic, however freshly minted, one wonders if this is a good thing. One emerges from the experience (if one can emerge) feeling as if one had been cooped in a vat of molasses for too long—tarred, to all appearances, … Read more

The Idler: An Arriviste

This is, strange to say, the first time I have appeared in print as a Catholic writing to fellow Catholics, though I have lived half a century and have been writing for a living since I was 16. I was only received into the Catholic Church last New Year’s Eve. Someday, should I live, I … Read more

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