The case of the Iowa high school wrestler who cited his Christian beliefs in forfeiting a recent match against a girl in a state tournament seemed to be another one of those skirmishes in the culture wars that clearly pit religious tradition against modernity.

The sophomore wrestler, Joel Northrup, said his decision to default his match against freshman Cassy Herkelman in the 112-pound class was based on his religious convictions — he didn’t think it was right for a boy to try to subdue a girl physically or to touch her so intimately.

Even Cassy and her family said they respected Northrup’s integrity in putting his principles over the chance to compete for the top prize in a state famed for churning out some of the best grapplers in the country.

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