Within minutes millions of people around the world were discussing this simple act. 675 major news articles, lively discussion on sports television, local and national talk shows, internet discussion boards engaged in earnest discussion over the simple act of faith.
Why would anything that happened in Iowa on a thursday morning at a high school wrestling tournament, provoke such a heated reaction from India, to Russia to the New York Times, Fox News, and the Cedar Rapids Gazette?
Joel Northrup, the young man in question, inadvertently touched a nerve. The reason he forfeited a wrestling match at the Iowa High school state wrestling meet, was because he was slated to wrestle a young woman in the first round, something his Christian faith would not allow him to do.
The public statement is instructive for its modesty and respect, I quote,
"I have a tremendous amount of respect for (Cassy) and (Ottumwa’s Megan Black, who also qualified for state) and their accomplishments. However, wrestling is a combat sport and it can get violent at times. As a matter of conscience and my faith, I do not believe 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 didn’t demand concessions for himself of the wrestling association, nor did he posture as some kind of victim, but with quiet dignity he took himself out of the match (and the semi finals of the tournament he was favored to win)and submitted through the Athletic director of his school, the statement above.
The passions that this simple act have given rise to, are instructive also, of the national Ã‚Â "nerves" which Joel has touched.
* The Nerve of Radical Feminism- The Iowa High School Athletic Association has gone along with much of the rest of our lost culture in participating in the lie which has been force-fed into our culture, that other than obvious plumbing differences, there is no difference between boys and girls, and those who insist that there are, are "hung up".
This is an obvious lie, and people know it instinctively, but like the Emperors New Clothes, they play along with it, not seeing the harm in subjecting their daughters to boxing, wrestling, armed combat, and other previously male dominated occupations.
Women and men are interchangeable, there is nothing special about either, a girl can do anything a guy can do, and should.
But the Christian gospel insists that women are to be treated in a special way. Their femininity is to be guarded and protected, a man shouldn’t be body slamming a woman, or "riding her" , taking her down, pinning her chest to chest, or grabbing any body part for leverage. A man should not ever "do combat" with a woman, as Joel so eloquently says.
In a saner time, any one would realize that, it would be a given.
The "nerve" Joel touched is that he wouldn’t go along with the lie of radical, androgynous feminism , he stood for his faith in Jesus Christ, and te honor and respect for women that Judeo Christianity has always promoted.
The reason for the visceral response from so many is because people know in their hearts that it is a lie, that there is nothing special, (dare I say sacred?) about femininity, and that a woman is the same as a man.
So vicious haters have called Joel’s courage into question and accused him of being a sexist and (incredibly) of "disrespecting women and their accomplishments"! They get nervous who serve a lie.
Another reason for the passion which went the other way, that is people passionately in support of Joel, is because people are beginning to realize that the feminist experiment has been a colossal anti christian failure, ruining lives and families and engendering sexual confusion in our society.
In the area of athletics alone Feminism has wreaked havoc, and sports lovers know it. The Title IX mandate which sought to equalize college athletics has been the death of hundreds of once successful University baseball, lacrosse, football and wrestling programs in the interest of radically equalizing the quota’s of college athletes according to gender.
J Robinson the successful head wrestling coach at the University of Minnesota says that 400 college wrestling programs have been eliminated due to Title IX. People know this but can’t be too outspoken about it for fear of being considered sexist.
Therefore Joel spoke for a lot of people, when he followed his faith and his conscience and not the dictates of feminism. It’s not what he set out to do,for I know Him, but His act too has had unforseen consequences.
There are other nerves that this has touched, such as the idol of sports success, for Joel gave up the coveted title of State Champion, Iowa wrestling, for his faith in Christ. This no doubt convicts many who have compromised in the "Win at any cost" culture of our day.
We have found in the wake of this that there are many feminist men, who have no problem putting their daughter out on a mat, to be "grappled with" hoping to see her dominate a young man. Feminism is a philosophy, it is the rejection of the God assigned sexual roles, an expression of rebellion against our Creator.
I doubt Joel took all of this into consideration, he just followed his faith in a simple manner and was willing to pay the temporal price without complaint. But He sure touched a nerve , didn’t he?