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Liar for Jesus: Christians cheer dishonest high school valedictorian

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Christians cheer the dishonest and deceptive actions of a high school valedictorian, illustrating the toxic hypocrisy and moral corruption that infects conservative Christianity in America.

At his June 3 graduation ceremony at Liberty High School in Pickens County, South Carolina, Roy Costner IV made a dramatic gesture by ripping up his pre-approved speech and leading the conservative, backwater crowd in the Lord's Prayer. The small town rubes cheered, and Costner was proclaimed a hero by conservative Christians desperate for something to cheer about.

Yet Costner admits the whole thing was staged and pre-planned, which means he lied to school administrators by leading them to believe he was going to give one speech, when in fact he planned on giving another.

In and of itself, the fact that a graduating high school senior lied to school officials about a speech he was giving is a small matter in the grand scheme of things. However, the fact that his community, and the Christian community at large, would applaud such dishonesty and deception is instructive as to the true nature of Christianity in America.

If Costner would have been honest and forthright with school administrators, Christians and others may have had good reason to cheer. However, for whatever reason, Costner was not honest with school officials. By his own account, Costner was dishonest and deceptive: he was another liar for Jesus.

The fact that so many Christians are so eager to reward the dishonest and deceptive actions of this young man only further illuminates the toxic hypocrisy and moral corruption that has come to be a hallmark of contemporary American Christianity.

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