New Mere O friend John Schroeder of Blogotional is worried that I’m spending too much time in the ivory tower. Apparently, he thinks that I’ve spent so much time up there that he needs to point out when he’s making jokes. Sadly, I do not spend nearly as much time in the cold academic tower as John thinks–would that I spent more time there!

He also points out this Taranto piece on the “Roe Effect.” In essence, the “Roe Effect” claims that abortion will actually make the country more conservative, simply because conservative people are having the babies. I am interested in two key stats: (1) Are conservatives having more babies, and (2) do conservative children actually retain (on average) the conservativism of their parents. My hunch is that statistically, those children from conservative parents who attend college do not end conservative. I’m not much of a web researcher, but if anyone has seen numbers on where ages 18-22 fall politically, that might help determine whether Taranto’s thesis has merit.

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Posted by Matthew Lee Anderson

Matthew Lee Anderson is the Founder and Lead Writer of Mere Orthodoxy. He is the author of Earthen Vessels: Why Our Bodies Matter to our Faith and The End of Our Exploring: A Book about Questioning and the Confidence of Faith. Follow him on Twitter or on Facebook.


  1. Matt: It’s not your Ivory tower that made me point out the joke, It is my absolutle lack of confidence in my sense of humor when I have no audience. It is really hard to know if anyone gets the joke when you are writing.

    We have a phrase around here — If you are not liberal when young you are heartless and if you are not conservative when older, you don’t own your own home.


  2. John: It’s much more fun to make the joke, let the person get offended, and then point out their lack of humor (as evidenced by their offendedness). Usually, they get an even bigger laugh from this.

    I’ll pre-empt the process and point out the joking nature of the above post. Man, it’s just dripping with irony.


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