CROOKSTON, Minn.-A Crookston man who doesn't believe in God said his vehicle was vandalized with messages telling him to leave.
Jeff Carter said he found his pickup Saturday, April 15, covered with raw eggs, a white powder and paint. Photos he posted on Facebook show messages written on the pickup, including "If you don't like God, go!" and "Jesus is life."
Carter said bumper magnets with atheistic messages were stolen off the pickup as well. He has reported the incident to police.
The Crookston Police Department confirmed the report but staff said they couldn't release information on the incident until a supervising sergeant returned to the office on Monday.
Carter has lived in Crookston for six years, adding he is proud to express that he is an atheist.
"I guess somebody didn't like that," he said.
Nobody was hurt, Carter said. He was able to wash the paint off his vehicle, but there is lingering egg damage.
When asked if he felt what happened to him was a hate crime, he replied, "How would you describe it if that happened to a Christain vehicle by a Muslim?"
"To me it is the same thing," he said. "I don't think I should be treated like an outsider due to my lack of belief."
Carter said he has Christian friends and gets along with most people in Crookston, but there are "quite a few" people who treat him differently because of his beliefs.
"I'll get a middle finger every once in awhile, or my girlfriend will get yelled at occasionally," he said.
He noted his tires were slashed shortly after he moved to Crookston. He didn't report that incident, saying he didn't want to "ruffle any feathers."
Carter plans to order replacements for the stolen bumper magnets. He said he wants to show residents he and his girlfriend are not bad people because he doesn't believe in God.
"We coexist with religious people very nicely," he said. "I'm not trying to offend people. I just want to make it socially acceptable for someone to be open about their disbelief and religion."