Victim who's open about his atheism downplays incident, says he'd ordered new bumper stickers
A Crookston man who adorned the rear bumper of his pickup with several magnetized bumper stickers conveying his atheist views awoke Saturday morning, April 15, to find his red 2013 Ford F-150 pickup parked outside his home vandalized with anti-atheism messages, eggs and flour. The bumper stickers had also been taken.
Jeff Carter, who lives at 114 Lincoln Avenue, contacted Crookston Police, and an investigation is underway.
Carter also took photos of his pickup and posted them on his Facebook page. By Monday, his posts had been shared approximately 14,600 times, spurred almost 4,000 reactions, and more than 100 comments.
The vandalism is believed to have occurred sometime between 11 p.m. Friday night and 7:15 Saturday morning. Messages written on the pickup expressed a belief in God and Jesus and also included the phrase, “If you don’t like god go” and another word on the driver’s side window, “Leave.”
Carter said he cleaned up his pickup, which appears to have escaped damage from the broken eggs.
On his Facebook page, which he said the Times could share, Carter stated that he doesn’t want anyone to think that he feels persecuted by Christians because he does not. He also says that many of his best friends are Christian, as well as of many other faiths.
“I am treated very well despite my open atheism,” Carter said. “This was just a handful of idiots that did this and it was only a minor inconvenience.”
Carter said he’s been amazed by the response his Facebook post generated, including hundreds of messages from strangers offering to pay for any damage inflicted on his pickup.
“Nobody owes me an apology for this except the people that did it,” he said, adding that he’s ordered new bumper stickers and they will be on his pickup by the end of the week.
The CPD says there are no suspects as of yet, but the investigation continues. Anyone who knows anything about the incident or who might be responsible is encouraged to contact the CPD at 281-3111.