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Who is Eric V. Snow?

This Eric Snow isn't is to be confused with the NBA basketball player!  (We did attend Michigan State at the same time, however, for several years, and I did get at least one of his long distance telephone bills while there by accident!)  I'm 44, married, and I work for Lafarge North America as an office facilities coordinator (I just LOVE such corporatese!) at its Financial Services Center in Southfield (i.e., near Detroit), Michigan.  I also have worked sometimes part time for Davenport University as an instructor/adjunct faculty member.  I have taught for them a Western Humanities class repeatedly, but not recently.  I have an M.A. in history, and B.A.'s in history, marketing, and philosophy from Michigan State University.  I also have an accounting degree from Davenport University.  I am a laymember of the United Church of God, IA, which is based in the Cincinnati, Ohio area.  I attend that church's Ann Arbor congregation (which means I go to church deep in "enemy" i.e.,. U of M/Wolverine) territory on a weekly basis.  

I have written a number of essays dealing with Christian doctrinal themes.  I also have had a number of letters to the editor published over the years in various local daily newspapers in Michigan, such as the Jackson Citizen-Patriot, the Lansing State Journal, the East Lansing State News, and the Detroit News.  I also have been published sometimes in The Journal News of the Church of the God.  Excluding my master's thesis, the one book I've written is A Zeal for God Not According to Knowledge:  A Refutation of Judaism's Arguments Against Christianity.  This book is available from iuniverse.com (the publisher's Web site) as well as from other major Web sites on the Internet.

The photo above, by the way, was  taken about ten years ago, in 1993.  The photo below  was  taken in 2003.

For the record it should be noted that my views as expressed on this Web site, including the essays published on it are my own, and shouldn't be seen as "official" views of the United Church of God, IA.  However, I do believe most of what is stated here is in general conformity with the UCG-IA's doctrinal positions .

"Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the Devil."  (Ephesians 6:11)

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Other biographical information, religious & political views, etc.:  I was born in Columbus, Ohio in 1966 in the hospital at Ohio State University (which was my father's college).  But since I went to Michigan State (i.e., my mother's school) for most of my college education, I'm a Buckeye by birth, but a Spartan by choice!  My father was a computer programmer while my mother had worked in retail and had also been a cooking demonstrator for a natural gas company in Ohio.  She didn't work much outside the home (such as part-time work as a sewing teacher for a fabric store)  after me, my brother, and sister were born until after my father died in 1981. 

I have a brother, Brian, who was born in 1967, and a sister, born Thanksgiving of 1968.  My family moved to near Denver, Colorado when I was very young, and then soon moved again to near LA (Thousand Oaks, later Gardena) in California. My family after living there for only about three and a half years moved again when I was in first grade to near Philadelphia, where my father went to work for Sperry Univac in 1973.  (My mother, I, my brother, and my sister did stay in Jackson with my grandmother and grandfather for about one month, however, during this process.

I went to school in Horsham, Pennsylvania, for second and third grades while living in a rather defective brand new house in the Hidden Meadows subdivision.  We then moved yet again to a suburb of Norristown, where I went to school to Burnside Elementary (fourth grade) and then (shudders!) Rittenhouse Middle School (fifth to eighth grades).  The bullies in my life in school and the neighborhood (the Betzwood area subdivision along Trooper Road near Valley Forge) made life miserable for me!  Gym class was an especially bad experience for someone like me so lacking in natural athletic talent and hand-eye coordination.

My family, minus my father, moved yet again when I was in ninth grade to near, later into, Jackson, Michigan, my mother's hometown.  My father was still living in the old family house in Pennsylvania when he died.  When I graduated from Jackson High School in 1984, my mother said that was the last place she ever expected me to graduate from (because that was from where she had graduated from!)  

I went to Jackson Community College for two years, and then when to Michigan State for the next two years, graduating in 1988.  I majored in both philosophy (because of the influence of Ayn Rand largely) and marketing.  After not having much success in finding a job suited to my education and skills, I went back to MSU to become a teacher in 1991.  I did get teacher certification and a history B.A. by 1993.  I finished the M.A. in history in 1997.  I worked as a substitute teacher 1994 to 1998, having a rather checkered career in the process.  I concluded I wasn't going to get a job as a teacher by 1998, so I became a medical biller for Universal Diagnostics in 1998.  After getting laid off from there in the wake of its merger with Labcorp only a few months later, I got temporary work that (with only a two-week spell of miserable unemployment during it between assignments) that led to my present position with Lafarge North America Inc.  I worked in accounts receivable for about two years, and now have been in office facilities for about two and a half years.

I was raised in the Unitarian Universalist Church, a very liberal outfit, to the extent I had any religious training as a child.  And that effectively only lasted about two years (in second and third grades).  I clearly remember being taught evolution in Sunday school, and not believing in Adam and Eve as literal historical people.  (It took Henry Morris' book, "The Incredible Birth of Planet Earth" to pound that out of me when I was (I believe) 17.  Although I was influenced some by a tract put out by my grandmother's church after picking it up during a county fair in Jackson (in 1977 I think) when my family visited there, my real self-chosen spiritual experience came after reading the Plain Truth magazine of the old Worldwide Church of God in 1982 and onwards when I was still in high school.  I attended the Seventh-day Adventist Church in Jackson in 1985 to 1986, and later attended the Worldwide Church of God from 1986 to 1995.   I was baptized in the latter organization in 1987.  Since I objected to many of the major changes that organization made in doctrine under Mr. Joseph Tkach Sr., I joined the United Church of God in 1995, and have been there since.  I do speak in the local church, but I am not an ordained person nor any kind of official spokesman for the UCG-IA.  (That is, none of my essays should be cited as official statements of my church's doctrines, although I believe most of them most of the time are in conformity with its beliefs or a substantial minority within that organization).

Although I was raised to be a good Democrat by my father, he was always a somewhat cranky one, and didn't have much use for the Kennedys.  He was liberal enough (out of opposition to the Vietnam War)  to contribute money to McGovern's campaign in 1972 because he hated Nixon.  (He's perhaps one of the few people in the length and breadth of the United States who voted for both Wallace (in 1968, for he opposed Vietnam then, and didn't want HHH either) and McGovern!)  My human politics were decisively shaped by a sadly battered copy of Barry Goldwater's "Conscience of a Conservative" I bought for (I think) 2 1/2 cents at a Goodwill store.  I later cruised the used paperback books donated to, or being discarded by, the Jackson Public Library's store ran by its friends, looking for various right-wing books when I was in high school.  John Stormer's "None Dare Call It Treason" was decisive in forming my views of communism, although the Blue Book of the John Birch Society (borrowed from the library) was another factor.  I accepted the "Insider" conspiracy theory of Gary Allen's "None Dare Call It Conspiracy" until the collapse of communism in eastern Europe in 1989, which refuted it as far as I was concerned.  I reluctantly (I sympathize with Zell Miller's attitude, despite being a Northerner born & raised) became a Republican some time before 1982 election, for I remember favoring Jimmy Carter in 1980, but I had decisively changed by election night of 1982, when I was pulling for the Republicans.  I first encountered Ayn Rand's work through (to me then) the curiously titled, "The New Left:  The Anti-Industrial Revolution," which I thought about when picking it up, "Well, if this is left-wing, I can just return it and get back my ten cents," since the library's used bookstore didn't aim to make a profit on every book sold at that time.  This book had a decisive influence on how I saw the world, since I saw (among other things) the essay "The Comprachicos" as being a convincing explanation of my social situation in school, especially in middle school, among other things.  Despite being a Christian and thus rejecting a good chunk of the core of Objectivism (her philosophy, as proclaimed in such novels as "Atlas Shrugged" and "The Fountainhead"), I still have a certain authentic respect for much of what she did, since when she rebelled, she at least rebelled in the name of reason, individual rights, and capitalism, not irrationalism, collectivism, and socialism.  Her moral argument for capitalism, if the anti-altruism, anti-self-sacrifice core of her ethics be rejected, can easily be trimmed down to a means/ends argument that (if enough years remained for American society before Christ's return) could eventually destroy the welfare state.

The problem I realized here with being involved in politics, as essays posted on this Web site explain (click here:   Should Christians Vote.htm and Should Christians Vote  Reply to Critics.htm), was that voting is ultimately futile if God is really in control of everything after all.  If He is going to intervene, and take over the world's governments (as per Daniel 2:44; 7:26-27), and is going to do so not very long from now, should we get so exercised over (say) whether George W. gets reelected or not?  I actually declared a major in political science back in 1984 when I first went to college, but I decisively changed my mind after reading an article in the old Worldwide Church of God magazine, the "Good News," by Herbert W. Armstrong entitled something like, "How Would Jesus vote?"  I soon then accepted (after initially totally rejecting it, the only WCG doctrine I did that with) pacifism.  This meant I effectively no longer had a foreign policy, since the willingness of nations to use force or threaten its use remains decisive in that realm.  If we Christians are going to be kings and priests in God's kingdom forever (Rev. 5:10; 20:6), why should we get so caught up in such temporary and trivial issues as the next presidential campaign?  Our time as Christians could be much better spent elsewhere, such as in preaching the Gospel or caring for the poor or needy voluntarily.  (You may wish to read Cal Thomas and Ed Dobson's "Blinded by Might:  Can the Religious Right Save America?," if you want a disillusioned and skeptical if less rejecting view of Christian involvement in politics than my own).  

So although my sympathies still lie with the Republican Party and  my own brand of conservative libertarianism, I'm well aware that God's economic system in the millennium will be neither strictly socialist/welfare statist nor laissez-faire capitalist.  (For example, debts will be cancelled every seven years, the land redistributed every fifty, and a third-tithe system will exist, for example, even though each family will have its own separate plot of land instead of collective farms).  I merely see that on this side of the millennium it seems to be better to give everyone freedom, even if people will abuse it, since other bad things happen when it is denied.   The case of Prohibition is my guiding lodestar in this regard, since although it roughly halved American consumption of alcohol and cirrhosis of the liver by 1933, it produced so much organized crime, street violence, and governmental corruption, it wasn't worth it.  There is no utopia here, only trade-offs between two "bad" outcomes (i.e, choosing between the lesser of two evils), so policy makers might as well as manage our collective evil human natures the best they can be on a stop-gap basis.  And if we were going to start imposing Christian laws on society, how well do you think a strict enforcement of the Fourth Commandment, a Friday to Saturday sunset Sabbath, would go over with 99% of the American population?  If nobody could get that done before Jesus' return, it seems rather futile deal with imposing the lesser laws of the Old Testament.  (How well would executing gays or (merely) all adulterers go over today, for example?  How much blood would there be in the streets?)  So I admit I may be inconsistent in my human politics (i.e., making a distinction between what can be imposed on this side of the millennium and afterwards), but at least I see how soon they aren't going  matter, thanks be to the power of God! 

This picture was taken of me in 2009.

 


 For those who want more details than I'm supplied above, in 1991 I wrote a general intellectual autobiography for one class at Michigan State University, which is attached below:

Intellectual Autobiography 1991.pdf

 I wish to announce my engagement to Yndira Judith Alvarado Velazco, of Chorrillos (a suburb of Lima), Peru.  Yndirita happily accepted my marriage proposal on Friday, October 9, 2009 on the beach at Huanchaco (near Trujillo), Peru, during my church's annual convention, the Feast of Tabernacles.  God be willing, we plan to marry next year, perhaps during the Feast of Tabernacles.  Most likely she would move to the USA, and live in Redford (near Detroit), Michigan.   Here are some photos I took of her while I was in Peru.  The first photo below I took shortly after we got engaged:

Yndira here is wearing the ring I gave her when I proposed to her on the beach in Huanchaco, Peru.

 

This photo was taken at Machu Picchu, the famous archeological site in Peru.

 

This photo was taken near Machu Picchu, on the mountain that forms the back drop in the photo taken above.  The mountain scenery there is truly splendid, spectacular, and magnificent.

 

This picture was taken close to where I proposed to Yndira, on the beach in Huanchaco, Peru.

 

Here we are together at Machu Pichu, which is roughly a 3 hour train ride away from Cuzco, Peru.  (Typically, you'll need to take at least one taxi ride and a bus ride also in order to get there).

 

 

Yndira and I got married in Lima, Peru, on Sunday, May 30, 2010, in a religious onlyl ceremony.  We then got married again, in a combined religious and legal ceremony, in Flint, Michigan, on Sunday, June 13, 2010.

 

 

 

 TO THE LOVING MEMORY OF SHEBA, MY PET CAT.  (Born, perhaps 2004; Died, Sunday, December 10, 2006):  

 

 

SHE WAS SUDDENLY KILLED AS A RESULT OF A FREAK ACCIDENT DURING WHICH ONE OF HER REAR PAWS GOT CAUGHT IN AN OFFICE CHAIR BETWEEN THE BACK AND ARMREST.  THE CHAIR THAT KILLED HER LOOKS REMARKABLY IN HER PICTURE ABOVE, BUT HAS ROUGHLY SIX INCH HIGH, 3/4 INCH WIDE SLOTS BETWEEN THE CHAIR'S BACK AND THE ARM RESTS.  SHE PANICKED, BROKE A LEG, AND SUFFERED FROM SHOCK AND INTERNAL INJURIES THAT CAUSED HER DEATH AT THE VET'S.  SHE WASN'T PUT TO SLEEP, BUT SIMPLY DIED ON HER OWN.  SHE WAS AN AFFECTIONATE CAT, AND WAS WILLING TO SIT IN MY LAP AND PURR, AND LAY IN BED ON ME, AND PURR AS WELL.  ADMITTEDLY, SHE LIKED TO STAGE "FOOT ATTACKS," EVEN "LEG ATTACKS" ON HER (OFTEN BARE FOOT) MASTER.  SHE ALSO LIKED TO SCRATCH UP FURNITURE WITH HER (LONG) CLAWS, WHICH SCRATCHING POSTS, STICKY TAPE, AND THE "DON'T SCATCH" SPRAY LARGELY ELIMINATED.  SHE ESPECIALLY LIKED CHASING AFTER ROLLED AND THROWN BALLS, BUT WAS NORMALLY, BUT NOT ALWAYS, SOMEWHAT BORED BY RIBBONS ON WANDS AND A LASER POINTER I HAD.  SHE WAS A "BOSS CAT," AS SHOWN BY HER ABILITY TO DOMINATE MY MOTHER'S GERMAN SPITZ DOG (WEIGHS ABOUT 14 LBS., IS LIKE A POMERANIAN BUT SOMEWHAT BIGGER) DURING THE NEARLY THREE WEEKS SHE STAYED WITH HER IN JACKSON.  LINKS TO A LENGTHY EMAILED LETTER (SLIGHTLY EDITED)  DESCRIBING HER SAD DEMISE IS FOUND BELOW.

Sheba's Death    letter 1206.rtf

Sheba's Death    letter 1206.wpd

SHE WILL BE MISSED!

 

Since Sheba's death, I got two new cats (November 2007):  Maggie, a calico/Maine Coon mix, and Gracie, who seems to be mostly Angoran.

They sometimes have their little "fights," but they also get along with each other normally.

 Alas!  Poor Maggie had to be given away (October 2010) because Yndira was somewhat allergic to her!

 

 

 

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