Wisconsin’s premier children’s hospital has had its fair share of scandal, particularly with regard to religious liberty and leadership, but the bar just keeps getting lower: Children’s Wisconsin is now hiring trans activists as chaplains and “spiritual care interns.”
Children’s staff members were first notified of such new hires when fliers were posted around the inpatient units advertising, “Meet Your New Chaplain: Kate Newendorp.” The first tip-off to Newendorp’s beliefs about the sexes was featured prominently on the posters, with a proclamation of her pronouns as “she/her/hers” and those of her fiance, a female who goes by “they/he.”
“Working in a pediatric hospital is a dream come true!!” Newendorp is quoted on the flier. “I am so excited to be working alongside everyone and am pumped to be part of the team. Think of me as your friendly next-door neighbor!”
The poster is just your garden-variety job announcement, but a deeper dive shows that Newendorp’s social Marxist views aren’t confined to a push for preferred pronouns. The new chaplain is all-in for transgender surgeries, abortion, and a rejection of religious teaching when it cuts against her personal comfort.
Despite biblical Christian doctrine affirming the sanctity and humanity of life in the womb, the existence of only two distinct sexes, and the immorality of same-sex relations in both the Old and New Testaments, the new “chaplain” proudly rejects all of this.
“Love Jesus. Be gay. Get ordained,” she wrote on Facebook in June, with pictures of herself in rainbow garb. “What better way to celebrate Pride than being ordained?! Many thanks to my church and classis for being willing to stand for queer folks being included in ministry and for allowing me to follow God’s call.”
Several months later, on Oct. 17, 2022, after announcing her engagement to her female fiance who identifies as transgender, the Children’s Wisconsin “chaplain” spouted off about her church online. “Also your casual reminder that my validity as an ordained minister is currently under review by my denomination because of the love I feel for my fiancé. Do better Church, because I’m not going anywhere. I was called,” she wrote.
Newendorp doesn’t just reject biblical relationships in her own life; she’s a full-fledged left-wing activist who twists religion to advance her preferred leftist policies. Her Twitter bio announces that she’s a “Chaplain desiring to shake things up” and says she’s “Daydreaming about … a time where God isn’t referred to with male pronouns.” On Facebook, she shared a blasphemous poem called “Jesus at the Gay Bar”:
But she’s also used her religion card to proclaim that loving your neighbor looks like “getting vaccinated and masking up” and voting for Democrats, and that “Abortion is a religious freedom.”
“People of all genders and sexualities have and need abortions. Abortion is healthcare,” Newendorp wrote with misinformation about maternal deaths. “I am an ordained minister who supports a person’s right to choose what is right for their life and their body. I am pastor [sic] who is pro-choice.”
In January, Newendorp started a GoFundMe “on behalf of Jennifer London” to help her fiance “Jensen” undergo a double mastectomy, known in the transgender-activist world by the euphemism “top surgery.”
Since moving to Wisconsin for her role at the children’s hospital, Newendorp appears to have become friendly with the other chaplains, posting pictures of herself going wedding dress shopping with fellow Children’s chaplain Ian Butts. This indicates Newendorp is not the only anti-Christian person installed in a religious role at the hospital to help families deal with life-and-death medical situations.
If Butts’ name sounds familiar, that’s because he was the chaplain who interrogated Children’s staff members who submitted religious exemption requests over the disastrous Covid shot mandate that left many hospitals dangerously understaffed. As part of the invasive vetting process, Butts grilled employees about their religious beliefs to determine whether their theology met his standards for being allowed their First Amendment rights and freedom to make their own medical decisions.
[READ: In Wisconsin, Hospital Shortages Aren’t From Covid, They’re From Vaccine Mandates]
As I reported in these pages at the time, “The questions included the specifics of the employees’ personal religious convictions and their vaccination record, with Butts pressing on what he considered to be contradictions. Two particularly leading questions regarded the specifics of how the employees would keep their patients safe without being vaccinated, implying a moral implication of refusing a vaccine, as well as how they could square working for a hospital that mandated something so contrary to their personal convictions as a condition of employment.”
“We have already seen that Children’s holds little value for respecting deeply held religious beliefs, given their recent COVID Religious Waiver Committee. But this feels like a step too far. This feels like they have actively recruited activists into this field to further their progressive agenda,” one former Children’s Wisconsin employee told The Federalist of the trans activist chaplains. “I think this situation really calls into question who do we want guiding the spiritual development of our children — especially children who are stuck in a hospital, isolated, sometimes alone, and extremely vulnerable and easily impressionable.”
Children’s also recently posted a flier for a “Spiritual Care Intern” named Meg Trimm, who demanded to be referred to by the third-person plural pronouns “They” and “Them.” This chaplain intern was “an LGBTQ+ community educator and LGBTQ+ teen safe space facilitator” who believes “a professional chaplain’s job is not to convert anyone or preach religion, but to empower each person to find and use the hope and resilience systems they already have.”
Like Newendorp, Trimm rejects biblical teaching such as the concurrent depravity and creation in God’s image of people of all skin colors to instead espouse the most radical of left-wing political and theological views. Trimm has shared numerous TikToks of herself “deconstructing my white supremacy,” explaining that “gender is infinite,” proclaiming, “God is TRANSGENDER!!!” and saying, “God has a purpose for your life, and it might be fricken queer!”
“I am deeply concerned with this new infiltration of trans activists into our chaplain and faith-based services,” the former Children’s employee told The Federalist. “We have already witnessed the erosion and lost of public trust in fields of psychology, psychiatry, social work and general mental health counselors due to the rise of activists in these areas. Now parents have to worry about this as well?”
Like other pediatric hospitals that have recently come under fire for mutilative transgender interventions, the “Gender Health Clinic” at Children’s Wisconsin advertises medical interventions and surgeries for children up to age 16, with no specified age the hospital deems too young. It advertises that its services include “top surgery” (meaning a mastectomy that mutilates a child’s healthy and developing breasts), wrong-sex hormones, and allegedly “reversible” puberty-blocking hormones, although that isn’t what the experts and “science” say.
While the National Health Service used to claim such gender-bending interventions were “reversible,” it has since backpedaled, admitting:
Little is known about the long-term side effects of hormone or puberty blockers in children with gender dysphoria. … It’s also not known whether hormone blockers affect the development of the teenage brain or children’s bones. Side effects may also include hot flushes, fatigue and mood alterations. … [Gender-affirming] hormones cause some irreversible changes, such as: breast development (caused by taking oestrogen), breaking or deepening of the voice (caused by taking testosterone). Long-term cross-sex hormone treatment may cause temporary or even permanent infertility.
If health-care workers in the “Gender Health Clinic” at Children’s Wisconsin decide it’s “appropriate,” they prescribe puberty blockers to children at their first visit, even if they’ve never been evaluated by a mental health professional. And while the hospital says it doesn’t pump kids full of wrong-sex hormones on the first visit, it “can work to quickly start hormones at a follow-up clinic visit, usually within a few weeks.”
Furthermore, the pediatric hospital states on its “gender health history” form: “We offer gender-affirming Spiritual Support to all our patients.” Andy Brodzeller, an external communication director for Children’s, failed to explain what “gender affirming Spiritual Support” means despite being asked repeatedly.
“Our chaplains are trained to support and engage families of various faith and personal backgrounds in a health care setting,” Brodzeller said in response to a Federalist inquiry. “They only interact with patients if specifically requested by a family. Families are also always free to seek the services of their own personal faith leader. Regarding your question about parental involvement related to care for gender diverse kids, parents and guardians are essential to all care decisions. Clear, informed consent of all parents/guardians is required before proceeding with all treatments.”
But with trans activist “chaplains” like Newendorp and Trimm stacking the pediatric hospital’s spiritual support bench, and a promise from Children’s to “offer gender-affirming Spiritual Support to all our patients” (emphasis mine), people in the Children’s community are rightly concerned.
“We have many parents and families at Children’s who are deeply religious and hold traditional Judeo-Christian values. Will these new chaplains be able to serve the need of these families objectively?” the former Children’s employee added. “How will they properly support a grieving parent who is dealing with a child’s traumatic injury? How will they properly counsel a child who may be alone in the hospital due to a single parent working to make ends meet and maintain insurance?”