It is always interesting when people only quote the parts of the Constitution they like:
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; "
It seems the pastor forgot about the “make no law respecting an establishment of religion” part of the First Amendment.
Which religion was the pastor trying to establish? Oh, and the pastor isn’t congress.
The establishment clause applies to the actions of all government bodies, state and federal. The pastor was an agent of the state government when he was officiating a graduation at a public school. This is all well-established constitutional law.
Added in edit:
The case you are looking for is:
That’s quite a leap there. Were the people who put up the decorations also acting as agents of the state government?
Yes. Why wouldn’t they be? They were participating in a function of an institution of the state at its behest.
Yes. Again, this is well established constitutional law.
Of course they were! And if some of those decorations were Bible verses and excerpts from the Quran, they would be agents of the state government unconstitutionally promoting religious messages—and thereby heading into the forbidden territory of establishing Christianity and Islam as religions favored by that state government.
It is also worth mentioning that the same restrictions apply to political speech, in case people were wondering. People can’t use their position within a public school to endorse a political candidate or party as part of public school functions. The freedoms found in the Bill of Rights are extended to citizens, not to government agencies.
I’ll have to remember to not interfere with them. Don’t want to get arrested!
I can admit that I have no idea what that means. (It flew right over my head.)
Yes, disturbing the peace or even criminal trespass (whether involving an “agent of the state” or not) is an offence subject to arrest.
If they put up decorations with crosses on them then yes.