I should explain that our kids have grown up in a thoroughly free-thinking household - but at their school they seem to be largely surrounded by friends who are either practicing Muslims of varying degrees of orthodoxy, or Evangelical Christians. Either way - happily my kids genuinely struggle to comprehend the barminess of their friends' beliefs - both in theory and practice - whether it's the concept of an imminent apocolypse and the bodily resurrection of our ancestors, or having at all costs to cover your hair and not consume shellfish.
We can try to explain it to them in terms of psychology - religion gives people comfort, or in terms of sociology - it affirms people's cultural identity. But on a purely abstract level, having encouraged the application of reason in every other aspect of their education, it's very difficult to explain religious belief in terms of anything else other than wanton stupidity and simple superstition.
However I've found help in the unlikeliest of places - the BBC's 'History Of The World in 100 Objects' - this week they have been looking at the rise of the major world religions. They do so in terms of power - both political and economic. The 15 minutes a day programmes chart why the big four religions we are stuck with today triumphed over other local 'pagan' religions. And clearly slow that was not because they were any more intellectually vigorous or morally superior, but because they won by military conquest (Islam), or by providing the fabric of empire (Christianity and Hinduism) or by trade networks (Buddhism). Maybe the disciples of the Flying Spaghetti Monster were just less fortunate in their historical breaks.