Homeschooled Iowa Wrestler Defaults to Avoid Competing Against a Girl

Whenever I see a news article or video clip about a homeschooler taking a stand based on principle, I tense up just a bit. I know that the temptation to anxiety may be just around the corner because they often include some sort of cringe-worthy content, such as:

  • An attitude of arrogant, dogmatic superiority on the part of the conscientious objector.
  • Portrayal of a sense of entitlement within the homeschool community.
  • Misrepresentation of the facts by the news reporter.
  • Media slant manifested in selective editing in the newsroom.
  • Ill-informed commentary from a biased source masquerading as an objective authority.

So it was really refreshing to read the recent story of Joel Northrup, a homeschooled Iowa wrestler who refused to compete against a girl in the state tournament. He was humble and gracious, and even complimented  the female competitors.  He did not demand special treatment or threaten to sue anyone.   He gave a clear, Biblically sound reason for his action. A quote from Northrup’s pastor dispelled any suspicions that an inferior view of females was at the root of the decision:  “We believe in the elevation and respect of woman and we don’t think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do.”

The facts of the situation rang true and were well ordered. Plenty of commentary was offered by others involved in the wrestling tournament, and though most would not have chosen the same course of action, all expressed respect for Northrup’s convictions and decisions. No “experts” were brought in to babble on about sexism or religious intolerance.

What I expected to stress me out actually left me feeling encouraged.  Encouraged that it really is possible to get a good story about a good guy published in the mainstream media.  Encouraged that somewhere in Iowa, there’s a young man whose commitment to Christ outweighs his desire for championship.  And most of all, encouraged by the reminder that as we are faithful to walk the path the Lord has called us to, He will be faithful to bring forth a harvest of righteousness throughout our generations.

Published in: on February 18, 2011 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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