Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade January 2002

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Dissent There is a time in everyone's life where they encounter an opinion that is different from set rules of authority. One may choose to take action upon their opinion, or just continue to follow the established authoritative rules. If one chooses to take action they are said to be a dissenter. The concept of dissent is to differ in sentiment or opinion. During the reformation period, dissent is expressed through those who challenged the existing authority of the Church.

During the Reformation period, John Wycliffe was one who challenged the church and faced consequences for the actions in which he took. Wycliffe had such opinions as that the true head of the Church was Jesus Christ, not the pope. He also believed Jesus and his disciples, the clergy, or Church officials, should own no land or wealth; poverty was better for them than riches. The final view, which he expressed, was that the bible was the final authority for Christian life, not the pope.

With these opinions, Wycliffe became a hero by attacking the pope. An English archbishop tried to charge him with heresy, but instead was forced to free Wycliffe due to riots. Wycliffe was lucky in a sense because he died peacefully in 1384, instead of being burned.

Martin Luther was also one who challenged the Church during the Reformation. Luther believed people could not win salvation by their own efforts, but Faith in God was the only way to salvation. Luther, also as Wycliffe viewed, the Bible as the only authority for Christian life. Luther believed each person had a relationship with God and all people with faith were equal. This meant people did not need a priest to interpret the Bible. Pope Leo X issued an official statement threatening Luther with excommunication unless he recanted. By not recanting, Martin Luther was excommunicated from the Church.

On a personal level, I have never encountered a time when I was a dissenter However, I have been in a position where my opinions and views differed from those of an authoritative figure. When I have had different opinions, I decided to not take action because of the consequences I may have been subject to battle.

Although, I cannot recall ever being a dissenter, I could be susceptible to face action towards an opinion I have against authority. I have had a Coach for a few years, whom I am gradually losing respect for. I, as others feel, as though some of the things we work on during practice are not productive or effective at all. However, if anyone ever questions the slightest bit what we are doing during practice, our coach has a tendency to lose control and over analyze suggestions we make into negative comments. This person then proceeds to tell us to do what is told without question or leave. That would be understandable, however it is absurd not to be able to question what is not being done by looking at our losing streak. The coach should be open for suggestions. Next time something like this happens, I realy would like to question what we are doing, because I believe that I have a right to know that. If my coach yells at me, then atleast I would know I tried. however, I do not think I would go further with my belief, but instead I would just let it go.