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DO NOT VOTE TO CONDEMN UNTIL WE KNOW WHAT IT IS -- (House of Representatives - July 27, 1999)

[Page: H6431]  GPO's PDF

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   (Mr. STRICKLAND asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute and to revise and extend his remarks.)

   Mr. STRICKLAND. Mr. Speaker, it troubles me that sometimes in this Chamber we stand and say things that we ought not to say. We criticize people that we have no right to criticize.

   We recently voted to condemn a scientific study and an organization, an organization that has done as much as any organization in this country to fight child abuse.

   I wonder how many of us read the study before we were willing to vote to say that the methodology was flawed. I wonder how many of us were technically competent to make that decision.

   I believe that we ought to observe the Ten Commandments. One of those Commandments says, you ought not to bear false witness against your neighbor.

   When we say things about an organization or about an individual scientist that are untrue or unsubstantiated, in my judgment, we have violated that Commandment.

   We ought to have the decency not to vote to condemn something until we know what it is we are voting to condemn.