vendredi 15 mai 2009

David Mascré’s expertise, testimonies of Gérard Bouchard and Jacques Pettigrew


The day starts with Mr. David Mascré’s testimony by videoconference from Paris.

Mr. Mascré exposed his expertise, smiling, with calm, and an obvious pedagogical talent. Click here (in French).

His testimony eloquently reinforced the parents’ position, supported by their four main grievances: the ERC course imposes a polytheist vision of the religious phenomenon, is relativist, dissociates ethics from morals, and claims neutrality with regards to ethics, while interfering in the capacity of parents to pass on their faith to their child.

For the President of the Coalition pour la liberté en éducation, Mrs. Marie-Josée Croteau, this supports what parents have expressed. “We had all sensed this before hand. Therefore, it is very encouraging and interesting to see that even university experts come to say: « Today, we tell you that you, the parents, have reason to be concerned about this course.” There are good things in the course. But there are also some things that may […] have consequences on the children, on the upcoming generation, and caution is necessary in such a situation”, declared Marie-Josée Croteau.

Carried away by David Mascré’s brilliant oral defense, many parents in the courthouse applauded, something unusual in a court room.

Me Boucher’s cross-examination resembled a simple text analysis where the lawyer underlined the affirmative vocabulary and confident tone of Mr. Mascré’s expertise. These attacks seemed quite weak; they never actually addressed Mr. Mascré’s fundamental arguments, apart from Me Boucher trying to get Mr. Mascré to admit that he was going a bit too far by saying that certain beliefs were eccentric or illegitimate. Mr. Mascré did not make a concession on this point.

Gérard Bouchard’ testimony

The philosopher from Saguenay also intervened by videoconference but this time from Harvard University in the US.

[More to come]

Jacques Pettigrew

The rest of the day (two hours) was spent listening to the person responsible for the ERC program at the Monopoly of education, as he put us all to sleep reading through the program. There’s good pedagogue for you! To think that people like him decide what is to be taught to our children, even in so-called private schools!. At the end of the day, the room had dozed off and was half empty. During these two hours, Mr. Pettigrew did all he could to present the program as something inoffensive in spite of what is really going on in class or what is actually allowed by the program.

We were briefly brought out from our torpor when the judge asked him to explain why in the grade one textbook the Annunciation was romanticized (Mary blinded, under trees, hesitant, renting a “cradle” in the textbook rather than a stable), as the mother, Mrs. Lavallée, had mentioned the first day of the trial? Who approved these textbooks? Mr. Pettigrew found that this was just editorial license.

Pages in question (in French).

We are impatiently waiting for the cross-examination to show that Mr. Pettigrew has obviously sweetened the pill.

Trial's Quote of the Day

As the Attorney-General’s lawyer, Me Boucher, sarcastically wondered why Mr. Mascré’s expertise was so assertive (understand extremist), Mr. Mascré kindly replied:
“Let your yes be yes, and your no, no.” (Matthew 5:37)
Mr. David Mascré holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy and another Ph.D. in Mathematics, and teaches at the Paris V University.

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