Graduation speeches are usually chockful of bad cliches and dictionary definitions. Two different high school grads deviated from that norm, and it has a lot of people talking.

The first is Roy Costner from Liberty High School in Liberty, South Carolina. About 30 seconds into his 8-minute valedictorian speech, he rips up his pre-approved script. About two minutes after that, he starts reciting the Lord's Prayer.

The audience erupted into cheers and applause...but many weren't so amused. The prayer was seemingly a protest against the school district being pushed to keep prayer out of meetings and gatherings.

Of course Christian groups are applauding his actions, while atheist groups are saying it was offensive and inappropriate.

As a not-exactly-practicing Catholic, it doesn't bother me at all, and I'm not quite sure how it's offensive. It's not as though Costner demanded everyone in the audience pray along with him. Why is it offensive to hear a prayer, even if you don't believe in God? Is it so bad to learn about other cultural beliefs and religious practices? Isn't that what school is all about? Learning?

The second speech is seemingly more inspiring than controversial, as a Texas salutatorian used to his graduation speech to announce to his class that he is gay, saying, 'It is both a significant portion of who I am and an inconsequential aspect.'

Mitch Anderson

Mitch Anderson went on to urge his fellow students to love themselves and 'embrace self-empowerment.' His message is a great one, honestly and truly inspiring. You can CLICK HERE to read the entire speech.

Again some have cried foul at the speech, claiming it was an inappropriate venue to announce (or even talk about) sexuality...and to that, I say, get over it. Listen to his message, because cliches and all, his advice is spot on. Mr. Anderson said it best, 'Strive for legitimacy, and skirt what makes you vapid.'

Congratulations to both students for their accomplishments (and their cajones)!

Do you think either of these speeches were offensive or inappropriate? Tell us in the comment section below!

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