My name is Mark Kozak, and Renee Schiber was a friend of mine. Our friendship was oil and water – which made in a precious one to me. I treasure intelligent, lively discussion, and Renee could always provide that. The thing we shared the most was trust in Christ alone for salvation. Beyond that, things got intersting. 🙂
Our most strenouous disagreement was on guns – I focused on the good that can be accomplshed with them, and blamed the evils acts of evil people on their evil hearts. Renee focused on the evil that can be done with guns.
Racial issues were another source of disagreement. I focused on the fact all people are made in God’s image – and that is their source of inherent worth, and the reason for showing mutual respect. Renee agreed, but as a black person, Renee focused more closely on the on-going racial divide in this counry. I “get” why she focused there.
Renee was more a social and fiscal liberal, and I more a social and fiscal conservative. You can imagine, our discussions got heated. 🙂 Both of us said things we should not have. But the thing I loved most about Renee is that every new discusson began at “zero” – she carried no grudge from former discussions. Every dew debate started with mutual respect. She was instrumental in making that a reality.
The fact is we are always going to have disagreements in this world. Two negative trends are seen as ways of dealing with that reality: (1) demonizing the other side to increase the seeming credibility of our side, and (2) silencing the other side to increase the volume of our side.
Renee was against any of that. She beleived in the respectful, mutual exchange of opposing ideas. My hope is the world will see more of what Renee and I had – disagreement without being disagreeable and hateful. Actual listening to and considering ideas, while remaining friends. THAT was Renee Schiber.
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