National Football League (NFL) player Arian Foster of the Houston Texans recently said that he wanted his 4-year-old daughter to be open to all religious ideas and would even teach her about the "Flying Spaghetti Monster," a mock religion used by atheists to protest intelligent design being taught as science.

In a column for Yahoo Shine last week, Foster listed six things that he would try to teach his daughter, Zeniah. The final item was the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

"There are billions of people on Earth with hundreds of religions and sects that trickle off each other," he wrote. "I will never tell her what to believe in. I know parents are very influential on kids' spiritual beliefs and that can be a positive or negative thing. I can give her a basic understanding of religions when she starts showing interest and asking questions. But I will remain silent otherwise."

"How can I make a young mind believe this is the truth for them when they don't yet have the capacity nor the cognitive desire to delve into something like this?" Foster asked. "If she shows interest I would advise her to fully investigate a religion and see if it fits her. And if she chooses none of the above, I'll be fine with that as well."

"The values I instill in her should guide her to her decision. What's most important, I believe, is to support her decision no matter what."

A group calling themselves Pastafarians first decided to "worship" the Flying Spaghetti Monster in 2005 as part of their protest teaching intelligent design theory as part of a science curriculum.

Watch this video from Comcast Sportsnet Houston of NFL running back Arian Foster getting ready for current season, broadcast in August 2013.

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(h/t: Friendly Atheist)