Open Letter to Governor Larry Hogan and the People of Maryland

Regarding the Governor’s Requesting “Federal Authorities Cease Any Additional Settlements of Refugees from Syria in Maryland” (November 17, 2015)

As a child of immigrants who has seen waves of refugees make Maryland their home, I have always applauded welcoming new people to our state. The obvious benefits of a diverse population, with stories from each of us, to me is always a simple no-brainer. Lately I’ve been stupefied by the rising of an anti-immigrant xenophobia throughout the country, but I’ve always considered my home state immune to such a patently self-destructive philosophy. And now, after the terror attacks in Paris, even after the—questionable—rumor one of the terrorists was embedded among Syrian refugees, Governor Hogan has joined the increasingly partisan clamor to close our border, especially to Syrian refugees.

Before the Governor’s announcement, I failed to understand how someone who proudly calls him- or herself an American and a Christian could ever take such a morally, politically and spiritually abhorrent position. My wife urged me to try seeing from the other side—the side that would put security ahead of liberty—but I was comfortable because I don’t encounter those people in my surroundings. Larry Hogan showed me the light, though. His attempt to emulate the likes of Chris Christie and Donald Trump helped me see the other side up close. His announcement helped me change my mind. We should seriously reconsider allowing refugees—or any immigrants, for that matter—not because of them, but BECAUSE OF US!

We are no longer the same nation that could once light the golden door. We distrust each other to the point where we gun down each other on a daily basis. The moderates among us just don’t believe we are competent enough to keep each other safe. In the extremes, we suspect conspiracies among our fellow citizens, dark desires to bring on an age of barbarism between our fair shores. Nevermind that our lamp is always lit by those seeking to escape that very barbarity, I guess I’m being blinded by the light.

We on the left and the right both distrust government more than we trust each other. Talk about a no-brainer! How can we even imagine our government will keep us safe, when we have questioned the legitimacy of the two previous federal administrations (and will likely question the legitimacy of the next one)? We prefer politicians who challenge big government, and now our Governor has joined them. Nevermind that none of them have the Constitutional authority, because that question will ultimately be answered by the only branch of government that we still have no choice but to trust: the courts.

We are not a Christian nation any longer. It’s true, I’m tired of arguing how we aren’t, and now I see how we need to be. The Governor’s announcement reminds me that we as a nation are on the Christian team, but we are not Christian. We turn our backs on Christ when we applaud the devil who lied against every word of holy scripture when he declared from the pulpit, “Charity begins at home.” Nevermind how turning our backs is exactly what our enemies want us to do.

I see the Honorable Governor now. I see his partisan glory, the accidental spoiler in an off-year election. I also see his recent victory battling leukemia, and I join the rest of the world in offering congratulations and well wishes. I will take a lesson from the Governor and will live like I’m dying, because a part of me is. My American Dream is dying now, so I am going to live for it. If there any others who are working to make our state align to our true values—who could use my talents, skills and experience—please email me directly and I would love to lend a hand. I pray that by 2018 we will be ready to elect a candidate truly worthy of reviving the American Dream for the people of the Great State of Maryland.