Having “the talk” about religious reproduction should involve more than simply explaining how “it” works. It is equally important to work out the physical, emotional and social consequences of “doing it.” This is just as true for religious education as it is for sex education. We need a theological version of “the birds and the bees” that deals with the dynamics by which gods are reproduced in human minds, and the consequences of nurturing them in human groups. Part of the problem is that we are socialized not to ask where gods come from; we learn early that it is not polite to ask folks why they keep them around.
When it comes to having the talk about where babies come from and what it takes to care for them, we know that waiting too long can have devastating effects. Of course, it can be equally devastating if the conversation makes people feel attacked, afraid or ashamed. The activities that lead to sexual and religious reproduction can feel terrific to our bodies, but baring our souls about them can feel terribly vulnerable. When discussing such intimate issues, it is important to be sensitive – but it is also important to be direct.