For Eva Casara and her family, the festivity of Christmas day was overshadowed by great tragedy. On Dec 25, 2013, Eva Casara, a pregnant 17-year-old was shot in the back of the head and killed in Dolton, Illinois. The Christian Post reports that police found her severely injured and lying in the snow.
Doctors were able to keep Eva alive long enough to deliver her premature baby by cesarean. The baby girl was named Lailani Paris by her mother prior to her death. She was born three months early, weighs a pound and a half and is currently in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. Her family is praying for her survival. Eva’s aunt, Melody Vargas told the Chicago Tribune, “She’s living minute by minute.” “That’s all we have left of my niece.” Lailani is reported to be in critical condition.
Three brothers are being held without bail as suspects for the murder of Eva Casara. One of the suspects is the 16-year-old father of baby Lailani. The Chicago Sun-Times reports Eva left her home on Christmas day to take part in robbery with her boyfriend and his brothers. Eva got into a car with the intended robbery victim and one of the brothers. The intended victim told the brother to get out and after he did he shot at the vehicle as it drove off with Eva in it. After the driver realized Eva was dead he deposited her body on a city street.
The brothers, Darius D. Marshall, 19 and his two half brothers, Diante L. Coakley, 21, and Anthony Lee, 16 are facing first-degree murder charges.
This story is heartbreaking for many reasons. A young woman is dead. A child will grow up never knowing her biological mother. Lailani’s father will likely be in prison for the rest of his life. A family grieves the loss of a daughter while another family will potentially see three of it’s young men serving sentences. All because of foolish, selfish and deadly choices on the part of these young people.
As this story is being shared through news stations, angry comments are being left on the articles. The comments consist of tired remarks, racist sayings, cheap shots and heartless pokes. I’ll admit I’m not a fan of Obama’s policies and I’ve never voted for him. But if I read, “Would Obama call this man his son?” in another comment section, I might just scream. How is that attitude helping alleviate our societal issues? Those comments only seek to drudge up pain and further divide our nation when we need to be united.
I understand how easy it is to become hardened to the violence seen in our country. We don’t have answers to the Chicago death toll or the shootings we see in our schools. We become numb to the chaos and long to shut ourselves out from the insanity around us. Some of us choose to stereotype people groups, labeling them hopeless and destitute. Other’s seek to form committees and find solutions. While some get on their knees and cry out to God for mercy on our land.
As a high school student in 1999 the killing at Columbine High school floored me. As a 32 year old woman in 2013 I can’t keep up with the loss of life I hear about on the news. Being pro-life means I value the life of all individuals. Senseless violence springing forth from selfish acts tear at my heart.
As much as I love America, I admit our nation has lost it’s moral compass. From the murder of 26-week-old babies to the murder of this pregnant woman at 26wks, something is drastically wrong. Although abortion is by no means solely to blame, I believe there’s a connection. How can we allow for the murder of 4,000 children a day and expect a generation to treat life as a sacred gift worth protecting? They don’t buy it because they don’t see us live it by our actions.
Our politicians speak of reducing gun violence yet advocate for laws to tear apart fetuses. By allowing the legalized murder of children we’ve accepted an extreme form of brutality. A brutality that’s justified as choice, heralded as a right, thought to be helpful but in reality it corrupts our hearts. If were going to talk about America’s issue with violence lets start the conversation with the issue of abortion.
In his famous speech abolitionist Fredrick Douglass asked, “What, to the American slave, is your Fourth of July? He goes on to answer – a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. Douglass spoke, “There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States at this very hour.” Was Douglass an angry man firing off at America for her evils? I’d think he was a concerned, passionate person who called America to repentance. He desired to live in a nation that didn’t only ascribe to ideas about liberty and justice but provided it equally for all men.
Eva’s life is gone. Her baby is thankfully still fighting for hers. That in itself should convict us. Babies fight for life. If Lailani survives she will have the opportunity to make her own choices. Choices that may look very different than her mothers or fathers. Lailani’s name means sky, heaven, heavenly, spiritual; majesty and a wreath of flowers and leaves,a “heavenly lei.” Only God knows the potential of her life.
I pray Lailani makes it. I pray a light of hope would shine forth from this darkness. I pray for all the other children who are fighting to survive. I pray they would be able to live the lives they were destined for. I pray for the teen moms and fathers like Eva and Anthony. The ones that are bored, broken, restless, angry and insecure. I pray they’d find the love they’re craving. I pray for America, that we’d find our compassion again.