An integrated life

Hen-pecked by Local Government

So, I recently received an email update from a local town councilwoman, Linda Hunt Williams.

Linda is a fan of property rights. Evidently others on the town council aren’t.


As you probably have already read in newspaper articles, the Council, did not second my motion (emphasis mine) to allow residents to obtain a permit to have up to four hens in an enclosed coop in their back yards.

Since that time, Ken and Wendy Webster, who are teaching their children how to live a sustainable lifestyle, continue to ask for a change in the ordinance to allow them to have up to four hens for eggs and as pets for their children. To comply with the current ordinance, they have moved their four hens to another location. They again presented at the last two Council meetings. It appears they are continuing their efforts. Below are some links on the issue, if you are interested.


Several years ago, we found and purchased property and moved outside the town limits of Holly Springs, not just so we can have chickens (which we do), but because we don’t think the government should control what one does on their own property. People should be responsible for what they do on their property, and if that means containing chickens so they don’t eat the neighbors’ property (in case you’ve never had them, chickens are much less discerning eaters than goats), they should do so.

So, what do hens have to do with an integrated life? Do I need to have hens to have an integrated life?

If you read the Bible to find out what God considers the fundamental economic unit, I don’t think you’ll find anything but the household. The household has a structure. The household is where sons and daughters learn about life. The household consists of “the nuclear family” but can extend beyond that to extended family, servants (voluntary or otherwise… no I’m not suggesting purchasing slaves, but there have been many indentured servants who’ve done well throughout history), and others working directly or indirectly for the head of the household. The household’s jurisdiction can extend beyond the home. Although the home/dwelling place is expected to be a place of industry, the industry of the household can extend beyond the confines of the home/dwelling place. (I’m sure I’ll write more on this later).

Many government officials don’t recognize this. They think it is up to them to make sure people are educated to work within THEIR structured economy. Their structured economy continues to assume that “work” takes place outside the home in all but an ever narrowing set of circumstances (things that can happen in a small room with a telephone and internet connection possibly). Most municipalities only have a few categories of land use, perhaps residential, commercial, industrial, and agricultural/farming. Every once in a while, a municipality will designate something as “mixed use”, but they don’t mean “mixed use”, they mean “one or more of the above categories in a fairly restricted manner in close proximity”.

“In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” (Proverbs 14:23 – NASB)

Child labor laws, land use restrictions, and many other “good intentioned” public policies lead us to a society where it is not expected that young people learn to work on anything other than “school” (or school activities, public recreational activities, or private lessons reserved for “the privileged”). The economy is centered around “the corporation” where Daddy (or Mommy) goes off to work and “the school system” where children go to learn so that someday they can get a job at a corporation and go off to work and have a place to send their children to. Hopefully the activities in between keep them “out of trouble”. Children become consumers, not producers. And they are taught that it is essential to continue the system.

How many children today are taught the following (and how many parents know?):

In spite of the “agrarian economy” of the early 1800s (which is painted as a bunch of unenlightened people who didn’t know much of anything besides working long days and nights), literacy in the US was at its highest in the 1850s before compulsory government education was in place. When early compulsory education laws were put in place, the generally accepted standard was 60 days per year for 4 hours per day. The “enlightened children” of today (180 or more days/year for 6-8 hours/day or more) are not prepared to read the standard texts aimed at children in the late 1800s. Purchase a GA Henty book or Martha Finley’s “Elsie Dinsmore” series (the original not the revised versions) and introduce a junior high student to them to verify that this is the case.

And, I’m sure that even fewer of them are aware that chickens are less discerning eaters than goats, or have ever been given the responsibility of gathering fresh eggs from those chickens in order to help provide for the economy of the family. Most 16 year olds today have never “worked” a day in their lives, and are poorly equipped to do so. In the past, they were very capable and productive.

How could these children in the 1850s have possibly been very literate and have the time to gather eggs (or build a chicken pen or …) and become well-established as producers by their early to late teen years? Examine how your children spend their day and how much time is spent “not producing” anything of inherit value that benefits others. Whether or not you save money on eggs by having hens (you may not), or save money on vegetables if you plant a garden, or make money on some craft business, or … Find ways that your children can produce something of value before your elected officials find out that you are doing it!

I had mentioned David Brown in an earlier post (see Evening with the Peter Bradrick clan. At age 18, he not only had an excellent resume, but finished high school… and had his own house built, debt-free, as he has begun to provide for his new wife who works alongside of him. I guess there wasn’t enough government officials that had been warned that something like this could happen if he was allowed to continue what he was doing when he was younger.