Last week the Los Angeles Times reported on the murder of African children accused of being witches. The children, often accused by family members, were killed during attempted exorcisms performed by local Pentecostal priests. Accusations of witchcraft are not a new phenomenon in traditional African culture -- many negative changes in the community are blamed on child witches, and the crossroads of poverty and no education make for an endless assortment of negative changes. Now missionary zeal has brought the Good Book to rural Africa, along with its exhortations that, "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live." The traditional punishment, exile, has gone the way of parachute pants, and the new vogue is the forced ingestion of acid in the name of expelling a demon. Evidently the missionaries forgot to mention that particular passage is generally skipped over nowadays, before hopping into their air-conditioned SUVs and heading back to the Hilton.
The worst part of this is, of course, that it is horribly wasteful. While rational economists the world over surely applaud the choice of families to accuse their child of witchcraft -- thereby giving them one less mouth to feed -- this still feels a poor decision. If only there was a way to utilize the youth and energy of these evil children efficiently and productively in order to increase the overall well-being of their communities. Thankfully, the Word of God has us covered once again: "You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property." Praise the Lord! A more economical choice, one that would overtime counteract the poverty of the community and increase everyone's overall well-being would be to keep witches alive, trade them with nearby communities, and use them as fuel.
Precedent for this was recently set by Sweden, which has opened a power-plant fuelled by the bodies of bunny rabbits. This is, of course, horrible in practice. Bunny rabbits are incredibly cute -- who amongst us would change the channel if an infomercial filled with bunnies and the soothing sounds of Sarah McLaughlin came on our television? On the other hand, who amongst us would change the channel if an infomercial full of African witch children, covered with flies and marked by distended bellies, came on?
It may be argued that this is still murder. Murder according to man's imperfect laws, but not according to the Lord's, for if a slave is killed, the owner "shall not be punished: for he is his property." And what's more, the birth-rate in Africa is through the roof, child witches are a highly renewable, and so far untapped, resource. Plus, they are almost completely green. Child witches produce minimal emissions. The Bible tells us that we are to "provide for the redemption of the land" by being good stewards. What is more environmentally friendly than reducing emissions? It is unethical not to use child witches as fuel.
This rational and God-approved alternative to murder will surely be condemned by the liberal left and godless atheists the world over who insist that a more appropriate response would be to stop proselytizing in developing countries, and instead invest in "real change" -- education (especially for women), competent family planning and micro-financing that provides opportunities for advancement and economic stability. But where in the Bible does it say any of that?