Sarah Palin e-mail message written as though from God
Sarah Palin in Philadelphia last month.
June 15th, 2011
12:03 PM ET

Sarah Palin e-mail message written as though from God

By Dan Gilgoff, CNN.com Religion Editor

(CNN) - Among the 24,000 pages of e-mail from former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin released on Friday, one message stands out for its signature line. It's signed by the "Creator" and "Your Heavenly Father." In other words, God.

Palin sent the e-mail to family and friends in April 2008 in anticipation of the birth of her and her husband Todd's fifth child, Trig. Palin knew her son would have Down syndrome, and the e-mail is a meditation on that knowledge and on how others should view him in light of the diagnosis.

"I am blessing you with this surprise baby because I only want the best for you," the e-mail message begins. "I've heard your prayers that this baby will be happy and healthy, and I've answered them because I only want the best for you!"

Palin included most of the e-mail in her 2009 book Going Rogue.

"In my research on Down syndrome, I learned that these special kids most often bring joy into their family’s lives," she wrote in that book, explaning her decision to pen a note in the voice of God. "While they had developmental challenges, they were also affectionate, generous, and cheerful. Rather than focus on what could be perceived as negative, I wanted our loved ones to focus on the fact that this baby, every baby, has purpose, and that not only would he learn from us, but we would learn from him."

"I decided to write the letter as though it were from Trig’s Creator, the same Creator in whom I had put my trust more than thirty years before," she continued in Going Rogue. "I hoped that even though this new baby would present challenges, we’d trust that God knew best, that He didn’t make mistakes."

The e-mail message released last week includes lines that Palin edited out of her book.

For instance, Palin - channeling the voice of God - wrote in her message that a Down syndrome child will make family and friends rethink traditional notions of perfection. The e-mail released last week includes subsequent lines that were edited out of Going Rogue:

But tell me what do you earthlings consider "perfect" or even "normal" anyway? Have you peeked down any grocery store aisle, or school hallway, or into your office lunchroom lately? Or considered the odd celebrities you celebrate as "perfect" on t.v.? Have you noticed I make 'em all shapes and sizes? Believe me, there is no "perfect"!

The full e-mail message is below. What do you think of the idea of penning a note from God? Let us know in comments.

Date: Mon, 7 Apr 2008 14:17:11
Subject: Baby

To the Sisters, Brother, Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, Cousins, and Friends of Trig Paxson Van Palin (or whatever you end up naming him!) :

I am blessing you with this surprise baby because I only want the best for you. I've heard your prayers that this baby will be happy and healthy, and I've answered them because I only want the best for you!

I heard your heart when you hinted that another boy would fit best in the Palin family, to round it out and complete that starting five line-up. Though another girl would be so nice, you didn't think you could ask for what you REALLY wanted, but I knew, so I gave you a boy because I only want the best for you!

Then, I put the idea in your hearts that his name should be "Trig", because it's so fitting, with two Norse meanings: "True" and "Brave Victory". You also have a Bristol Bay relative with that name, so I knew it would be best for you!

Then, I let Trig's mom have an exceptionally comfortable pregnancy so she could enjoy every minute of it, and I even seemed to rush it along so she could wait until near the end to surprise you with the news – that way Piper wouldn't have so long to wait and count down so many days – just like Christmastime when you have to wait, impatiently, for that special day to finally open your gift? (Or the way the Palins look forward to birthday celebrations that go on for three, four days... you all really like cake.) I know you, I knew you'd be better off with just a short time to wait!

Then, finally, I let Trig's mom and dad find out before he was born that this little boy will truly be a GIFT. They were told in early tests that Trig may provide more challenges, and more joy, than what they ever may have imagined or ever asked for. At first the news seemed unreal and sad and confusing. But I gave Trig's mom and dad lots of time to think about it because they needed lots of time to understand that everything will be OK, in fact, everything will be great, because I only want the best for you!

I've given Trig's mom and dad peace and joy as they wait to meet their new son. I gave them a happy anticipation because they asked me for that. I'll give all of you the same happy anticipation and strength to deal with Trig's challenges, but I won't impose on you...

I just need to know you want to receive my offer to be with all of you and help you everyday to make Trig's life a great one.

This new person in your life can help everyone put things in perspective and bind us together and get everyone focused on what really matters.

The baby will expand your world and let you see and feel things you haven't experienced yet. He'll show you what "true, brave victory" really means as those who love him will think less about self and focus less on what the world tells you is "normal" or "perfect". You will grow and be blessed with greater understanding that will be born along with Trig.

Trig will be his dad's little buddy and he'll wear Carhartts while he learns to tinker in the garage. He'll love to be read to, he'll want to play goalie, and he'll steal his mom's heart just like Track, Bristol, Willow and Piper did. And Trig will be the cuddly, innocent, mischievous, dependent little brother that his siblings have been waiting for...in fact Trig will – in some diagnostic ways – always be a mischievous, dependent little brother, because I created him a bit different than a lot of babies born into this world today.

Every child is created special, with awesome purpose and amazing potential. Children are the most precious and promising ingredient in this mixed up world you live in down there on earth. Trig is no different, except he has one extra chromosome. Doctors call it "Down's Syndrome", and Downs kids have challenges, but can bring you much delight and more love than you can ever imagine! Just wait and see, let me prove this, because I only want the best for you!

Some of the rest of the world may not want him, but take comfort in that because the world will not compete for him. Take care of him and he will always be yours!

Trig's mom and dad don't want people to focus on the baby's extra chromosome. They're human, so they haven't known how to explain this to people who are so caring and are interested in this new little Alaskan. Sarah and Todd want people to share in the joy of this gift I'm giving to the Palin family, and the greater Alaska family. Many people won't understand... and I understand that. Some will think Trig should not be allowed to be born because they fear a Downs child won't be considered "perfect" in your world. (But tell me, what do you earthlings consider "perfect" or even "normal" anyway? Have you peeked down any grocery store isle, or school hallway, or into your office lunchroom lately? Or considered the odd celebrities you celebrate as "perfect" on t.v.? Have you noticed I make 'em all shapes and sizes? Believe me, there is no "perfect"!)

Many people will express sympathy, but you don't want or need that, because Trig will be a joy. You will have to trust me on this.

I know it will take time to grasp this and come to accept that I only want the best for you, and I only give my best. Remember though: "My ways are not your ways, my thoughts are not your thoughts... for as the heavens are higher than the earth, my ways are higher than yours!"

I wrote that all down for you in the Good Book! Look it up! You claim that you believe me – now it's time to live out that belief!

Please look to me as this new challenge and chapter of life unfolds in front of you. I promise to equip you. I won't give you anything you can't handle. I am answering your prayers. Trig can't wait to meet you. I'm giving you ONLY THE BEST!

Trig's Creator, Your Heavenly Father

- CNN Belief Blog Co-Editor

Filed under: Politics • Sarah Palin • Uncategorized

soundoff (2,030 Responses)
  1. TheWiz

    BTW – I hope you angry atheists who keep insulting and disrespecting people's religious beliefs realize that 1) atheism is itself a belief system, and that 2) your judgementalism and self-righteousness makes you sound just as bad as Palin and the fundamentalist wing-nuts who back her. You don't want to believe, that's your business. Just don't tell me or anyone else that we're delusional for believing, simply because you want it to be so.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • SB

      Voluntary censorship is not a true form of respect; it's just cowards capitulating to those who want to shut up a dissenting view. And atheism is not a belief system, unless you also think that non-tennis playing is a sport, or more famously, that non-stamp collecting is a hobby. The problem with your request is that in order for us to respect religion, we must believe that religion deserves some respect, which it doesn't. Religion on the whole is pseudo-intellectual. Major world religions are politically corrupt. Pseudoscience backed by religious interests are infiltrating our schools. Promulgators of religion continue to pine for rational epistemology for religion (ie. religious apologists) which does not and cannot exist. Religion is so foolish, why respect it? Respect logic, respect evidence-based argument, respect reason and rationality, respect criticism and critical thinking! These "beliefs" built everything around you, created everything you know, shaped your world in ways that are so basic they're beyond being taken for granted. These are the things we should strive to respect, and to know, and to understand, sans religion which is just vacuous gibberish.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:17 pm |
  2. Artist

    Are religious people just high functioning schizophrenics? Something to ponder. Could religion be a sign a very serious illness infecting a very large population? Could this illness be a major flaw in mankind?

    June 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • ann

      I don't see much difference between that and an artist that puts a toilet in the middle of an art gallery and talks about the meaning behind that installation. Nor is it much different than an artist talking about the meaning behind a painting that looks like a little kid drew it. It's all about what in life has meaning to you as an individual. There is no need to mock the person who looks at things differently than you. It just makes you seem like a sad little person with no empathy or love for anyone but yourself and your own ideas and feelings.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • Artist


      I don't see much difference between that and an artist that puts a toilet in the middle of an art gallery and talks about the meaning behind that installation. Nor is it much different than an artist talking about the meaning behind a painting that looks like a little kid drew it.
      A toilet can mean many different things to some. Relief, shackle, a god etc. As for a painting that looks like a child drew it. Actually it would look like a painting that a child painted. Drawing generally refers to pencil, pen etc. If a child could draw and make it look like a painting, I would say they might have some talent. If looking at an abstract (no form) you have to also consider color combinations etc and how they work together. (primary, complimentary, split complimentary colors). Another thing to remember is progression....how the artist arrived at his/her process. There is more to just looking/glancing at a painting. I have some pieces that have taken over 100 hours. It takes a little more brain power than just glancing and looking. When you look at Picasso, Dali, Pollack for an example, you don't just look at one of their paintings and understand, you look into the process etc. Some art is eye appealing and some stimulates thought. And of course, some is simply bad or the artist hasn't perfected their "language/voice".

      June 15, 2011 at 4:13 pm |
    • Artist

      Also Ann, there is a difference in vision or dreams vs thinking they are real. I have many visions regardng expression or feeling...I might put it on canvas....but I don't think the images are real.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:16 pm |
    • Artist

      I also forgot to note that Artist and religious people seem to carry the same characteristics it seems. However there is a line that is crossed from reality to delusion.

      June 16, 2011 at 2:06 pm |
  3. Xperm Killer

    Some asked why Trig? and no somenthing more advanced as Cal, or Stat. The answer is clear, fortunately Paulin family didn't pass of triangules at School, another course and they would have named the kid Pith!

    June 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • 13115

      ▲   ▲

      June 17, 2011 at 3:14 am |
  4. ann

    Wow, some people sure do hate Christians and Sarah Palin. Shouldn't people be spending less time being full of hate and more time doing something more productive?

    June 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Anchorite

      It's Sarah Palin who doesn't like Christians. She certainly considers them stupid enough to vote for anyone who throws around the name of God a lot, even cynically using a very personal letter to her family about her son in a book intended to advance her career. If she hadn't done that I would have had some respect for her, but being a good Christian means spending more time doing good than patting yourself on the back for it.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • ann

      I was not making a comment about Sarah, but about the people on this forum who are hating on anyone who believes in something that they don't. I don't understand why anyone would spend time and effort to say hateful things to others nor to carry it around in their own heart. As far as Sarah goes, she is not someone I look up to nor am interested in as a candidate. I see her as being a flawed human just like the rest of us that is trying to figure things out. Who am I to judge her or her life. If you don't like her, don't vote for her. It's pretty simple. But don't bash all Christians just because you don't share their beliefs.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:54 pm |
  5. Kirk

    This is ridiculous. You people will try to dig up anything to paint this woman in a negative light but you keep making a large mistake. The more you talk about her, the more she stays in the public eye. And further, it's DOWN'S SYNDROME. Please learn grammar if you're going to publish your words. Don't take an email out of context and try to weild it into portraying someone as crazy. Especially when it comes to having a developmentally challenged child, and a potential positive outlook for such a difficult prospect. You liberals have zero moral anchor.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
    • Janet Derby-sheldon

      Kirk, I am a liberal Democrat. I thought this story was a beautiful tribute to the love a mother has for a child and, specifically, the love Gov. Palin has for Trig. As a professional in the field of services to persons with special needs for 40 years, I saw this as a very meaningful way for parents of a child with special needs to introduce that child to the family and community. And, Kirk, the name of the syndrome is Down, named for the man who discovered the cause. And so we say Down Syndrome.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:00 pm |
    • Snoop

      Dear Kirk,

      You don't think it is just a little bit creepy (and delusional) to view oneself as godlike and to presuppose the mind of god?

      Oh yeah...and if you are going to yell (ALL CAPS) at others to for getting something wrong. Please make sure that YOU are not the one actually getting it wrong, genius. It is Down Syndrome. Do not be so sure of yourself that you cannot take 10 seconds to use Google before making yourself look idiotic.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:28 pm |
  6. jadensmom

    I think it's sweet and her way of playing the hand she was dealt. Politics aside, no one can say how they would react, what they would do....daily, weekly we all do things that, if taken out of the context of our personal lives may seem odd or crazy to others. Yes she asked to be in the position she's in (as a public figure) biut there are times when "celebrities" deserve a break....I mean really, was the story even necessary, it was framed to make her seem crazy....ugh!

    June 15, 2011 at 3:41 pm |
  7. the NAIL in the atheists COFFIN


    June 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
  8. Billy Bob

    "It is sad that these personal e-mails had to be released to the public. But it is even more sad how most of the comments on here are so rude and degrading. How will there ever be peace in this world while it is full of mean-spirited people?"

    A great many of the people who comment on things like this are ignorant pigs.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Santa Claus

      you commented on it, so are you an ignorant pig, too? lol.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • racing mom

      this is free country. If you feel the need to degrade me, then so be it. It is sad that you feel the need to call people stupid, or pigs, just to boost your own ego. What a simple-minded little boy you must be !

      June 15, 2011 at 3:55 pm |
  9. Pat M.

    This is a pretty long personal email at WORK! What the hell?

    June 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  10. TheWiz

    Her sentiments are absolutely right, but it is indeed presumptuous, to put it mildly, to assume the voice of God in any context. eStill, it's not as if she was making apocalypse declarations or anything, so it could have been worse. Still, it's scary that anyone takes her seriously as a possibly presidential candidate.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
  11. hey Atheists... the debate is over


    June 15, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • Ms Atheist

      I love how eloquent this guy is. He is an excellent speaker. However, there are so many things wrong with (at least) the first ten minutes of his argument that it's hard to know where to begin. Let me try: Hoyle was not a believer in the Big Bang; he held to the Steady State model, which requires that all kinds of matter arise out of nothing continuously! Hardly one to quote on the BB theory. He makes serious presumptions that preclude all kinds of other scenarios, mainly that there is only ONE possibility that astronomers postulate as to the origin of the universe. There are many theories, including parallel and alternate universe theories, the "Big Bounce", and more. Since we don't see the rebuttal by Dr. Flew, please google it to watch this particular argument get annihilated.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  12. Bob Beecher

    "Going Rogue?" More like "Going Stupid," if you ask me!

    June 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  13. bu

    ALL Religion is a disease of the Mind! Be part of the cure, not the problem!

    Help cure the religion disease!

    June 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm |

    I'm a supernatural all powerful being and here's my retarded kid. Sound familiar christians? You bet'cha!!

    June 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
  15. Mike Breen

    I think poor Trig is the only Downs Syndrome child in history
    that actually raised the average IQ of his family when he was born.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:37 pm |
    • jon

      Geez. I was ready to click the "Like" button for this comment but I can't find it.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Neil

      That may have been the funniest thing I ever heard.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • WillH85

      I know, right? Kid might talk a bit different from the rest of the family, but that's probably where the differences will end.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:46 pm |
    • Darius


      June 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  16. know the TRUTH


    June 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  17. 123

    Awe, it reminds me of the "letter from Santa" I used to get at Christmas from my mother.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:36 pm |
  18. SickOfPalin

    This woman is a wack job! Clearly delusional! She is better served, working as a javelin catcher in the olympics, or even a dud bomb tester like in the Bugs bunny cartoons.

    June 15, 2011 at 3:35 pm |
  19. Rob

    WHO CARES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    June 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
  20. racing mom

    It is sad that these personal e-mails had to be released to the public. But it is even more sad how most of the comments on here are so rude and degrading. How will there ever be peace in this world while it is full of mean-spirited people?

    June 15, 2011 at 3:34 pm |
    • jon

      Just out of curiosity are you a conservative or a liberal? The only reason I'm asking is that I can only imagine what your response was when Anthony Weiner's tweeted pictures were released to the public. Were you that concerned for his privacy as well?

      June 15, 2011 at 3:42 pm |
    • Fred Evil

      These are NOT personal e-mails, these were sent using public resources. The state of Alaska and its citizens PAID for these e-mails.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:44 pm |
    • racing mom

      definately not liberal. Weiner's business, well, is his business. I don't think him taking pictures of his anti-hairy body was the proper thing to do, but it is his own to do with as he pleases. The media grabs ahold of something and just doesn't let go.

      June 15, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
    • Ms Atheist

      In case you didn't actually read the article, it says that Palin published the letter herself in her book. SHE made it public. Talk about playing the sympathy card. I find it disgusting that someone's god even considers "creating" a child who will be challenged physically, emotionally and mentally for all of his/her natural life. Nature, yes. Nature does that. But a "god" who has omnipotent power? What kind of choice is that? I think it's a great argument against the existence of god.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:12 pm |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.