State of Independence

State of Independence

5 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
  • State of Independence: Reporting From Flyover Country

    Episode 1

    Celebrated reporter and bestselling author, Salena Zito, has been deep in the heart of America's revolt against established political norms. She joins Joe to make personal observations on the presidential contenders and those they're wooing in the last moments of the 2020 Election Cycle. There's ...

  • State of Independence: So Help Me God- The Spiritual Heritage of Presidential Inaugurals

    Episode 2

    John Gizzi has seen it all—or close to it. First as a writer for Ronald Reagan’s favorite conservative magazine, Human Events, and now as the Senior White House Correspondent for NEWSMAX, he’s spent tens of thousands of hours watching politicians go from relative anonymity to The Oval Office. Fr...

  • State of Independence: Decisive, Not Divisive

    Episode 3

    Longtime pro-family activist, Victoria Cobb challenges fellow Christians to be "decisive" in their convictions but not decisive. Joe also welcomes musician, Jordan Dandy, who launched a one-man, pre-election campaign for kindness in Pennsylvania's capital city.

  • State of Independence: Faith and the Presidency

    Episode 4

    From the well-documented whisper in the president's ear on 9/11, to insights on practical expressions of faith in the White House, you'll find this conversation with Secretary Andrew Card a refreshing break from this season of discord.

  • State of Independence: Restoring America

    Episode 5

    Former presidential aide, Tim Goeglein, once made a serious error in judgement that resulted in a public firing from the White House. The forgiveness and grace he received from President George W. Bush deepened his his hope for an American renewal.

    In segment two, longtime communications strate...

  • State of Independence: Deployed - Life on Mission

    Episode 6

    When retiring PA House Speaker, Mike Turzai, asked Rob Mercuri to run to replace him, he and his wife Kelsey were injected into one of the most contentious suburban contests. What kept them steady? How did they protect their young family? Meet Rob and Kelsey on tonight's State of Independence.


  • State of Independence: Recovering Statesmanship

    Episode 7

    What's the difference between a statesman and a politician? Joe explores the conversation with the president of program designed to confront the deficit of principled leaders. More at

    Special guests: Greg Schaller; Rachel Shinn

  • State of Independence: A Gentle Answer

    Episode 8

    For those who long for a more civil way of being, A Gentle Answer reveals why answering hostility with gentleness is essential, how we can nurture our hearts to do so, and what a gentle answer looks like, both in the church and in the world. —Thomas Nelson's introduction to Scott Sauls' new work,...

  • State of Independence: Power Plays: Christians in Politics

    Episode 9

    This year, both candidates for president made a hard play for the affections and votes of Christians—specifically conservative, evangelical, and Catholic voters. Vice President Biden’s campaign expected his lifelong identity as a practicing Catholic would allow him to compete for millions of vote...

  • State of Independence: The Faith of Ronald Reagan

    Episode 10

    There’s one piece of the Reagan mystique that often goes unexplored—his inner life. Hidden in the letters, speeches, and handwritten notes are clues to Ronald Reagan’s deepest well—his faith. On this episode of State of Independence, we’ll meet a man who explored Reagan’s spiritual life and found...

  • State of Independence: Portraits of Indestructible Faith

    Episode 11

    Lancaster County is one of America’s rural treasures—home to tens of thousands of Amish families, pristine farmland, and acres and acres of some the most scenic, unspoiled views. It’s why so many couples retire early to places like Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community. But they come f...

  • State of Independence: Fighting Fear in Covid-19

    Episode 12

    For friends with loved ones in personal care and retirement communities, the pandemic has been a hotbed of fear and anxiety. On Joe Watkins: State of Independence this weekend, the CEO of Quarryville Presbyterian Retirement Community, Robert Hayward lays our an encouraging strategy for fighting f...

  • State of Independence: Taming the Political Circus

    Episode 13

    Is politics a playground for insiders? Is government a “good old boys club” — a system that operates by a different set of rules than the ones they impose on the rest of us? Is it a swamp? A circus? A charade? A house of cards? Is it all just a game? Polls show that this is exactly the way millio...

  • State of Independence: Love Your Neighbor (The Politician)

    Episode 14

    Joe is joined by Sen. Ryan Aument (PA) to discuss the pressures of public office and grace in some of life's most challenging circumstances. Aument opens up about a negative campaign he waged and the joys of reconciliation with a former rival. Kurt Weaver also joins from the Church Ambassador Net...

  • State of Independence: The First Kennedy-Nixon Debate Turns 60

    Episode 15

    Sixty years ago this month, John F. Kennedy and Richard M. Nixon appeared for their inaugural debate—the first ever televised. An estimated 70 million Americans tuned in to watch. As the presidential debate season gets underway, what are the lessons for civility and public debate that still stand...

  • State of Independence: Freedom's Hymn - Lift Every Voice and Sing

    Episode 16

    Famed singer and pastor, Dr. Wintley Phipps, talks about his friendship with leaders like Billy Graham and shares observations about his proximity to political power. What are the dangers? What happens when Christians chase significance? Phipps performs a special rendition of "Lift Every Voice an...

  • State of Independence: Fighting the Good Fight, Right

    Episode 17

    Delegate Kayla Kessinger (WV) began her political life as a fiery political activist, but she's become convinced that leading with love is more important that defeating her opponents. As her star rises in the Mountain State, she's been careful to guard against the seductions of political power an...

  • State of Independence: What are America's Values?

    Episode 18

    The director of Philadelphia's coming attraction—Faith & Liberty Discovery Center—joins Joe for a deep dive in the American Bible Society's most ambitious project. FLDC's Pat Murdock argues that the tech savvy museum is designed for searchers, doubters, and believers alike.

  • State of Independence: Is Kindness the Forgotten Virtue?

    Episode 19

    Biola University's president, Dr. Barry Corey is joined by Assemblyman Chad Mayes (CA) to challenge Christians to recover the virtue of kindness in public and personal interaction. Corey calls true kindness as being true to conviction, but preserving friendships and relationships.

  • State of Independence: Learning to Debate Again

    Episode 20

    Sylvie Légère is leading a national movement to challenge the way Americans debate ideas. She calls it, The Policy Circle. Sylvie joins host, Joe Watkins, to explain how it's actually possible to disagree on the issues without being ugly and disagreeable.