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MW: Do you have spiritual belief today? Do you believe in some sort of afterlife?
WINSTEAD: I kind of believe there is some bigger spiritual thing. I don't know what it is. I don't know how to define it. I also don't put it above other things, like science. It's called faith for a reason.
Hopefully, faith propels people to be good. But when it propels you to deny things that can be proven, I don't understand that. I also don't understand how some people of faith can say God says this and that. Well, God created scientists. And science. And facts. So why are you denying those things God created? It's sort of weird that we live in a country where if you are a climate-science denier, you can be leader of the free world. If you're somebody who says we need to prioritize science over religious beliefs, you can be banished for all eternity in big decision-making centers and be called a Muslim and a communist and a socialist and everything else. It's so weird.
MW: You're a big Planned Parenthood booster, so I want to take your mention of birth control a little further. Today, the debate isn't just about abortion, but now we're talking about contraception.
WINSTEAD: We used to be fighting this abortion battle. Now we are fighting a contraceptive battle, condom battle, moving into this very disturbing privacy realm. When [Sen.] Roy Blunt (R-Mo.) proposes a bill that says your boss can make moral judgments and deny you any kind of health care in your insurance plan if he deems that your behavior is somehow immoral, what kind of world is that? How is that even possible? This is the part where common sense goes off the rails.
When you say you'd like to reduce the number of abortions in this country and the way you plan to do that is to remove access to birth control? You shouldn't even be allowed at the table, because it's absurd. And it's legitimized. These people are legitimized. When you can say that conception happens two weeks before fertilization, I don't know what you're talking about. What? You make a suggestion in law that women should have a transvaginal probe inserted in them when it's not medically necessary and it's against their will and they have to pay for it? And you just assume we're going to sit there and go, ''Okay.''
MW: At first, being calm and reasonable, I sympathized with people not wanting their tax dollars used for something they found immoral. Then I remembered that my tax dollars helped fund the Iraq War.
WINSTEAD: We wouldn't be able to conduct ourselves as a nation if everybody got to pick and choose what they deemed morally acceptable and designate their tax dollars. That's impossible. That's why we have government. We vote for people to make decisions. We live under a set of laws and things need to make sense. Don't use those things if you're morally opposed. But don't put that on somebody else, because we all have the freedom to have sex. I hate to break it to you. As much as you're trying to legislate the sexuality and the sexual practices of people, people are going to finally catch on. It feels to me that people who have crappy sex lives are trying to ruin the world for the rest of us.
MW: I look at marriage equality that way. If you're opposed, belong to a religious body that won't allow it, so it won't happen in your church or synagogue or whatever. If you get the invitation to the wedding, decline it. If that's not good enough, you probably need to see a therapist.