State of Independence

State of Independence

4 Seasons

Each week on State of Independence, White House veteran, Joe Watkins, offers conversation that’s conservative, Christian, and driven by kindness.

State of Independence
  • Beyond Boycotts : State of Independence

    Episode 1

    From the Boston Tea Party onwards, we Americans have used the power of the Boycott to hit our opponents where it hurts—in the wallet. It was a signature act of quiet protest in the civil rights movement—one that was deployed to debilitate a system of segregated buses in Montgomery, Alabama. But i...

  • The Gospel in the Law : State of Independence

    Episode 2

    On this episode of State of Independence, Joe Watkins interviews Jeremey Samek, Esq. the Senior Counsel at Independence Law Center who has made it his life’s work to defend religious freedom and the right of conscience in America’s Courtrooms. (original airdate 9-22-23)

  • Next Generation Voices : State of Independence

    Episode 3

    Joe Watkins interviews Isaac Willour who is an award-winning journalist whose work has appeared in The Wall Street Journal and in publications like the Christian Post and National Review. His writing is smart, incisive, and original, and he’s still in college. Watch the interview to see how the r...

  • Losing Our Religion: State of Independence

    Episode 4

    Joe Watkins interviews Dr. Russell Moore, a minister, theologian, and editor-in-chief of Christianity Today, whose new book is an attempt to help fellow Christ followers replace the religion of politics with a relationship with God. (original airdate 8-18-23)

  • Here I Am, Send Me : State of Independence

    Episode 5

    Joe Watkins interviews Pastor David and Barbara Cross—mentors to a generation of men and women who are serving God around the world. As missionaries, their life wasn’t a straight line, but one that zig-zagged through opportunities and obstacles that led them to simply trust God—to know his voice—...

  • A Christian Response to Immigration : State of Independence

    Episode 6

    Recently, Lancaster, Pennsylvania—a county celebrated for its fertile farmland and famous Amish and Mennonite communities—received global attention for what the BBC called “The Refugee Capital of the World.” Joe Watkins talks to Danielle Bossert of Bethany Christian Services—who have been on the ...

  • When Grace is Amazing : State of Independence

    Episode 7

    For decades, Shelley Brooks has been the embrace, comfort, and security of disenfranchised and even discarded women—running from their abusers and battling years of pain and brokenness. And every year at the Bethesda Mission annual banquet in Harrisburg—in front of hundreds of supporters—Shelly i...

  • Leading With Grace : State of Independence

    Episode 8

    California is a big, beautiful, and complicated place—and that complexity is often most obvious in its politics. Some of the big movements for social and cultural change begin in the Golden State. When a spark is lit in LA or San Francisco—you can be sure it’s coming to a culture center near you....

  • Choosing Better Leaders : State of Independence

    Episode 9

    Maybe this is something you’ve said—or thought—recently: Election time is always about choosing “the lesser of two evils.” Some of you have been so disgusted by leaders from the president to the town council that you don’t even bother to vote. Or if you do, you still don’t believe anything will c...

  • Becoming a Servant Leader: State of Independence

    Episode 10

    Joe Watkins interviews Dan Hostetter, a Pennsylvania native. Dan was an academic scholar at Liberty University, and Student Body President for two consecutive years. Here's what he told the student paper, the Liberty Champion, when he won: “Our heart is to serve and love the Liberty community jus...

  • Lincoln's Battle with God : State of Independence

    Episode 11

    What did Abraham Lincoln pray for? Who did he pray to? When his wife experienced chronic bouts of despair and depression. When all but one of his children died before they reached adulthood. When the War claimed tens of thousands of young men—on his watch—where did he turn? Joe Watkins speaks wit...

  • Fight Like a Believer : State of Independence

    Episode 12

    From the farm to the Capitol and beyond. One day he’s raising pigs on a farm, then the next he’s the state Secretary of Agriculture, then a Congressman, then a US Senator, then a Governor. And then asked—by the President—to be Ambassador for International Religious Freedom. Joe Watkins interviews...

  • Man on a Mission : State of Independence

    Episode 13

    On this episode of State of Independence, Joe Watkins interviews James Meredith, a hero for human dignity and equality. Mr. Meredith grew up in the Deep South—but didn’t grow up in poverty. His father was the son of an enslaved person who had risen to be a successful, independent farmer. So, it w...

  • Yes They Can! : State of Independence

    Episode 14

    In Pennsylvania, there’s a law that assigns a child to a school based on five numbers. Not an SAT score. Not your monthly income. Not IQ. So, what is the number sequence—the code that can be the difference in a child’s success or failure in school? It’s a zip code.
    Pastor Joshua Robertson is a p...

  • This Little Light: The Nour Coffee Story : State of Independence

    Episode 15

    Maybe you’ve done it—encountered a person with a disability and saw their limits—not even thinking about the possibilities of how God designed them. Neurodiverse people —that’s someone who has a brain that works differently from the average person—would likely be one of those people. They might c...

  • Telling the Rest of the American Story : State of Independence

    Episode 16

    How is it possible to tell the story of the founding of America, but ignore those circumstances and events that cannot be explained—apart—from the hand of God? In every great scene of this epic story is evidence of God and the pleading prayers of the Americans. Courage and action informed by the ...

  • Loving Jackson Back to Life : State of Independence

    Episode 17

    It seems that Jackson, Mississippi, has been in the news—for decades. For some, it’s a city in the deep South that represents a turning point in the Civil Rights movement.
    That was the 60s. Fast forward, and Jackson’s wounds have reopened—exposing a complicated past and problems of the present. B...

  • But Now Am Found : State of Independence

    Episode 18

    When you walk into a church for the first time, you get a feeling, don’t you? You make a judgment. These people are either “like me,” or these people have no idea how to understand someone like me. There’s a certain way you’re greeted—the way people extend hospitality—that makes you feel like thi...

  • One Family’s Mission : State of Independence

    Episode 19

    Maybe you’ve never thought you were part of the answer to America’s orphan crisis—confronting a reality that millions of children are waiting, hoping to become part of a family. On this episode of State of Independence, Joe Watkins speaks with Pastor Preston Broadhurst, who along with his wife Ka...

  • Justice, Mercy and Hope : State of Independence

    Episode 20

    Take a minute to answer these questions: Who belongs in jail? How should we treat those we sentence to prison? What is the goal of prison? The person sitting next to you may answer these questions very differently. Because Americans don’t always agree on what we mean by “justice.”
    On this episod...

  • Spiritual Openness in America? : State of Independence

    Episode 21

    You’ve heard this story of the decline of church attendance in America, haven’t you? Fewer people are walking into churches on Sunday mornings. Fewer joining. And fewer believe their grandparent’s view of God—or accept—that the Bible is without error. But what if there’s something else going on?...

  • Capitol Witness : State of Independence

    Episode 22

    What would happen if God asked you to run for political office? With everything you know about yourself, how would you respond if He said: “It’s time.” That’s the question Joe Watkins asks tonight’s guest, a wife, mother, lawmaker, and most importantly—a follower of Jesus. Joe Watkins interviews ...

  • The State of the Persecuted Church : State of Independence

    Episode 23

    What do you think of when you hear the word “persecution?” Is it criticism? Is it an unkind response to a social media post? Is it a shunning for a family member or the loss of a friendship? Those are difficult things, but they’re not what millions of Christians—followers of Jesus—would consider ...

  • The Bully Pulpit President - Theodore Roosevelt: State of Independence

    Episode 24

    Theodore Roosevelt wrote this about the need for biblical literacy “The teachings of the Bible are so interwoven and entwined with our whole civic and social life that it would be literally impossible for us to figure to ourselves what that life would be if these teaching were removed.”
    Was he a ...