Tuesday, February 22, 2011


www.ecanadanow.com - A highly favored high school wrestler from Iowa forfeited his opening match of the Iowa State Wrestling Championships because he stated that it was against his religion to touch a girl in an inappropriate way. Joel Northrup was one of the favorites to win the 112 pound weight class and sported a 35-4 record over the course of the year. He had finished third in the tournament last year. His first opponent this year was Casey Herkleman, a female. Northrup forfeited the match because according to his religion, it was strictly forbidden for a young man to touch a young woman in an offensive type of way. Northrup defaulted rather than face her because he says wrestling a girl would conflict with his religious beliefs. Megan Black and Casey Herkelman are the first girls to qualify for the state tournament. Cassy, 14-year-old, said it would be a “lot more fun and more exciting” if girls could wrestle other girls in Iowa instead of having to face boys.

Joel’s father, Jamie Northrup, a minister in the Believers in Grace Fellowship, an independent Pentecostal church in Marion believes that young men and women shouldn’t touch in a “familiar way.” The father said that his son struggled with the decision. “He’s poured his heart and soul into wrestling and into being the best in the state. He’s never won a state championship, so he’s certainly looking forward to that day. So it’s agonizing, from all the work and the effort and the hope. But it’s easy in that, he, a long time ago, drew a line and said ‘I don’t believe it’s right for a boy to wrestle a girl.’ We believe in the elevation and respect of woman and we don’t think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do. Body slamming and takedowns, that full contact sport is not how to do that,” the minister said.

Wrestler Casey Herkleman got her arm raised after winning by default in a Class 3A 112 pound match at the Iowa State Wrestling tournament, last week. Herkleman was the first girl to ever qualify for the state tournament and won by default after her opponent Joel Northrup, refused to wrestle a girl. This reminds us the story of Shikhandi, who formerly was a woman in his previous life. She was one of the Kashi King's beautiful daughters and her name was Amba. In her next birth, when she took birth in the family of Drupada, Amba also took birth as a girl, and was named Shikhandi. Later on, due to Lord's Siva boon, she obtained her manhood and was a male during the Kurukshetra war.

Bhishma began a great slaughter. He appeared like a young lion amidst a herd of deer. The heads of many heroic chariot fighters fell to the earth, and this threw the entire army of the Pandavas into confusion. Then Shikhandi, who was born to kill Bhishma, rushed at the grandsire saying, Wait, Wait! Disregarding him on account of his once being a woman, Bhishma proceeded against the Shrinjayas. ... Grandfather Bhishma said “Shikhandi, the son of Drupada, is one of Yudhisthira's foremost maharathis. Formerly he was a woman. ... I will fight with all these warriors with the exception of Shikhandi. I will not strike or kill that prince of the Panchalas. He was formerly in this life a woman and also in his previous life a woman. I have taken a vow that I will not kill such a person.” ... Then all together the great adhirathas and the maharathis of the Pandava army attacked Bhishma hoping to kill him. Keeping Shikhandi in front of them, they pierced Bhishma with hundreds of Arrows.

“Mahābhārata Summation” :
“Bhishma Parva”
New Vrindavana Community - June, 1985.

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