Posts Tagged ‘Joel Northrup’

In Titus 2 Retreats, we consider God’s Word as it applies to current issues that affect modern women.  One of the issues that can stir a little debate is athletic competition between boys and girls.

A few days ago, I commended Joel Northrup of Iowa, the young gentleman who forfeited his match rather than wrestle a girl.  Jim Daley of Focus on the Family also posted a blog.  He received dozens of responses.  One of them is from a mother.  It may serve as an example of how our thinking has been more influenced by the world than by God’s Word.  The mother’s comments are in italics.  My questions — to perhaps help us all think — are in parenthesis.

The mother wrote, “My daughter loves to wrestle.  She is the only girl in a family of three brothers and is very much a tomboy.  Don’t get me wrong, she is totally female and knows how to be and act like a lady. (Q: How does a “lady” act?  Will she knowingly place a gentleman in a position that compromises his convictions?)  She knows how to be rough with boys and take it, knowing full well they can hurt her.” (Q: Does she want to put boys in a position where they can hurt her?  Is it ever o.k. for boys or men to “hurt” girls or women?)

The mother continues, “My daughter wanted to wrestle.  There are no all-girl wrestling teams in our area so she had to join the boys’ team.  The only boy who would even practice with her was a boy that had been part of our family since she was born. (Q: Is there a message from the boys in their reluctance to even practice wrestling with a girl?  How is a Christian boy or young man taught to treat a girl or woman?) 

The mother concluded, “My daughter gave up something she loved because the boys wouldn’t wrestle her.  Is she supposed to refrain from something because it’s a ‘boy’s sport'”? (Q: Isn’t the Christian often called to “give up” something we love because it might be wrong or harmful to others?  Aren’t we called to “refrain from something” that might cause another to lower their standard of behavior or be tempted to sin?)

What, after all, does this mean:

. . . Decide never to put a stumbling block or hindrance in the way of a brother (Romans 14:13b).

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Thank you, Joel Northrup, for standing up both for your beliefs and out of respect for a girl.

Joel, a home-schooled sophomore, defaulted on his match with freshman Cassy Herkelman because he doesn’t think boys and girls should compete in the sport.  Joel was a 35-4 wrestler for Linn-Mar High School in Iowa.

“Wrestling is a combat sport,” Joel said, “and it can get violent at times.  As a matter of conscience and my faith I do not believe that it is appropriate for a boy to engage a girl in this manner.  It is unfortunate that I have been placed in a situation not seen in most other high school sports in Iowa.”

Joel is a hero in my book.  A “titanic” hero.  A 911 hero.

Cassie joins 6000 other girls competing in wrestling in 2009-10.  Most states require girls to wrestle boys, but California, Hawaii, Washington, and Tennessee sponsor girls-only high school wrestling tournaments.

Girls can compete with boys in a “familiar,” body-slamming, and take-down sport; but, should they?

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