Posting a fake acceptance letter to Bible school is an unusual way to promote a rap single, but Lil Nas X’s self-proclaimed “Christian era” has brought just that.
On the evening of Jan. 9, Lil Nas X, whose real name is Montero Lamar Hill, shared a picture on Instagram of a letter that appeared to show his acceptance into Liberty University’s Fall 2024 semester for a program in Christian leadership and biblical studies. However, as Emily Brown reported for RELEVANT Magazine, the signature on the letter — “Jerry Fallwell, President” — was incorrect. Jerry Fallwell Sr., who founded Liberty University, served as president until his death in 2007; he was succeeded by his son, Jerry Falwell Jr., who served as president of the university until 2020. Dondi E. Costin, the current president of Liberty, was inaugurated in October 2023.
Liberty, which has its main campus in Lynchburg, Va., is the second largest Christian university in the U.S. The school is known for its conservative approach to evangelical Christianity, including on issues of gender and sexuality. The school maintains a doctrinal statement that defines marriage as between one man and one woman, while also denying the existence of genders outside the male/female binary. Students at Liberty are required to follow a code of conduct called the “Liberty Way,” which says that “sexual relations outside a biblically ordained marriage, romantic displays of affection with a member of the same sex … and actions confirming denial of biological birth sex (e.g., asking to be referred to by pronouns inconsistent with one’s birth sex, using restrooms and changing facilities reserved for persons other than one’s birth sex, etc.) are prohibited by The Liberty Way.”
In the Instagram post, Lil Nas X maintained the sincerity of the post, writing that he was “literally about to go to college for biblical studies in the fall” and noted “Not everything is a troll!”
Earlier this month, the rapper announced that his new single, “J Christ” will be released on Jan. 12, following an end-of-year announcement that he was entering his “Christian era.” A social media post announcing the release showed art depicting the rapper being lifted on a cross.
The rapper is known for his work that often mixes queer sexuality and religion, including a music video for his song “MONTERO (Call Me By Your Name)” that features biblical imagery accompanied by explicit themes.