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Reilly on the boy wrestler who wouldn't...

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Alma, Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Alma

    Alma Well-Known Member

    While aware of an ongoing discussion on the Sports and News board, I post the topic here in hopes of discussing, shall we say, the strength, veracity craft of Reilly's arguments:


    Here's the meat of it:

    <i>"Does any wrong-headed decision suddenly become right when defended with religious conviction? In this age, don't we know better? If my God told me to poke the elderly with sharp sticks, would that make it morally acceptable to others?

    And where does it say in the Bible not to wrestle against girls? Or compete against them? What religion forbids the two-point reversal?

    Remember, Northrup didn't default on sexual grounds. Didn't say anything about it being wrong to put his hands in awkward places. Both he and his father, Jamie, a minister in an independent Pentecostal faith called Believers in Grace Fellowship, cited the physical pounding of it.

    "We believe in the elevation and respect of woman," the father told the Des Moines Register, "and we don't think that wrestling a woman is the right thing to do. Body slamming and takedowns -- full contact sport is not how to do that."

    That's where the Northrups are so wrong. Body slams and takedowns and gouges in the eye and elbows in the ribs are exactly how to respect Cassy Herkelman. This is what she lives for. She can elevate herself, thanks.

    "She's my son," says her dad, Bill. "She's always been my son. Since she could walk, she's always been the tomboy, busting stuff up, walkin' through glass with her bare feet. Finally, her grandma said to me, 'You ought to get her wrestling.'" And she's been doing it since the second grade.

    If the Northrups really wanted to "respect" women, they should've encouraged their son to face her. When he didn't, it created a national media hurricane with Cassy in the eye of it. She was surrounded by 20 of us Friday not for how she wrestled (she wound up being eliminated two matches later) but for how she didn't."</i>

    YGBFKM Guest

    Usuallly, making fun of religious people is all the rage. But Reilly falls flat here. The poking the elderly with sticks line makes his disdain clear. From there, his credibility is shot.

    It takes a special writer to be funny and poignant/serious at the same time. Reilly used to be that writer.
  3. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    That's not making fun of anything. That's saying that religion isn't a trump card that wins every hand.
  4. D-3 Fan

    D-3 Fan Active Member

    Considering that Reilly was here in Des Moines, it would have been professional of him to actually walk across the street to Wells Fargo Arena and actually interview the individuals involved.

    With that said, Gregg Doyel did this story justice and it echoed what all of us here at the state wrestling tournament felt about the Herkelman/Northup situation: no one is at fault, she earned the right to be there, and Northup had the right to say no, even if his religious belief was a factor or not. And, of course, Reilly gets punched in the solar plexus by being lazy.


    The two individuals who exuded class and deserve respect and admiration is both wrestlers. Secondly, as I posted on the other thread, it's done and over with. We had a great tournament, fans were respectful of the situation, and nothing else came out of this, other than some folks like Reilly who decided to butcher it in the only way he know how, without doing his homework and asking those involved.
  5. inthesuburbs

    inthesuburbs Member

    If the boy had refused to wrestle a black wrestler, would you say he "exuded class and deserved respect and admiration"? No, you'd say it was racial discrimination.

    If the boy was an atheist and refused to wrestle a Christian wrester, would you say he "exuded class and deserved respect and admiration"? No, you'd say it was religious discrimination.

    Why is it different just because it's a girl?

    Reilly calls it right. It's mindless, sanctimonious, 12-century ignorance. Even if his parents give it the label of showing the girl "respect" by refusing to participate with her in a sporting event. It's not uncommon among some people of faith to show women respect by making rules that limit their opportunities in life. Giving it a religious reason does not make it right, and Reilly is right to call them on that.
  6. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    If this Northrup kid becomes a boss someday, will he refuse to hire a woman for certain jobs because the physical demands would not further "the elevation and respect of woman," or because it would involve tough negotiating or hard decisions that just wouldn't be ladylike? This isn't the guy laying in front of the tank in Tianamen Square by any means, principle-wise.
  7. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    The more apt analogy would be him resigning when faced with a situation where the best candidate was a woman.
  8. dooley_womack1

    dooley_womack1 Well-Known Member

    True, Rick, but what I said could be extrapolated from the mind-set. As for the passage cited here, it sounds like old-school Reilly, a bit of schmaltz for the side he supports, but it does make me want to read the whole thing.
  9. RickStain

    RickStain Well-Known Member

    I don't agree with the mindset, but I think it's important that he didn't try to get her kicked out or get another matchup. He respected her right to be there and took the consequences for his decision.
  10. SF_Express

    SF_Express Active Member

    I'm a left-leaning moderate, and I don't understand the "refuse to wrestle a black wrestler" or "refuse to wrestle a Christian wrestler" analogy at all. In this context -- incredibly close physical contact with someone of the opposite gender -- it's just not that simple.

    It's not the same as not hiring a woman if you're a boss, either.

    And I agree with RickStain: He didn't feel comfortable with it, and the result was a 35-4 record and chance at at state championship out the window. She, meanwhile, advanced. He took the hit; she benefited, although perhaps not the way she would have preferred it.
  11. Doyel comes much, much closer to getting this right than Reilly. This is a situation where there is a legitimate argument on both sides. If you can't see that, you're just not trying very hard.
  12. Completely agree.
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