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Whether we wish it so or not, our children are religious, spiritual beings. From within their own magical selves they know feelings, intuitions, and impulses. From the people, stories, songs, and media of their environs they hear religious words and messages and see religious symbols and images. From the experiences of their daily living they encounter religious events. They see dry sticks sprout pulsing green leaves. They see the deer killed on the highway. They watch their teacher’s tummy grow round with new life, and bid farewell to their uncle dying of AIDS. From the demands of their living and growing in the world they face situations that require from them a religious decision, response, or interpretation. They cannot choose whether they will be religious, but we can choose how and to what extent we will support, guide, and celebrate this dimension of their nature.
—Gift of Faith , Jeanne Nieuwejaar