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. So sad

    Such hatred in these comments. I just can't fathom what unhappiness is in your lives, to use a comforting letter from an expectant mother with a DS baby as a reason to spew more partisan vitriol. I truly, truly am sorry for you all and hope you will find something to give you peace in this world.

    June 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  2. fundies


    June 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
  3. Paul

    Por Trig, he must be so embarrased over his mothers mental deficiency.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Normal American

      Poor Paul... your life is an embarrassment.

      June 15, 2011 at 5:03 pm |
  4. Caral From SoCal

    Beautiful way to get the family and friends to understand the perspective they had on this child. I'm not a Palin "fan" – but I think she is someone I would like to know. While I wouldn't want her to be president of our country, I think the energy and passion she has expended on behalf of her family, her town, her state, and (yes) her country IS admirable. She still needs to find a good outlet for her voice, but this certainly shows she has something to say and can say it very well.

    To those who are criticizing her for "channeling" God. – wow, I feel tremendous pity for your skewed view of life.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
  5. Never Again

    that's all you got CNN? wow... you should be ashamed of yourselves for wasting our time with this whole e-mail fiasco.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • jrc

      You actually sat in your lounge chair and read it, now you want to blast CNN for showing to viewers. Hypo...

      June 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  6. Sharon

    You have to respect someone that stays true to their beliefs/values. Palin doesn't believe in abortion & when put in the situation where that may have been an "easier road", she stayed true to her beliefs and didn't abort the child. How can you not respect her for that alone? It would be a difficult position for most people to handle! She embraced it!

    June 15, 2011 at 4:55 pm |
    • Denita

      I dislike Palin a great deal, but I don't see anything wrong with this email and I do actually admire her for sticking to her beliefs. Any special needs kid is difficult and it takes a special person to be able to take on the responsibility. I'm always amazed at people who willingly take on the challenge.

      June 15, 2011 at 5:05 pm |
  7. thisisthebestjokeever

    See?!?! I TOLD you she was the Messiah!!!

    June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  8. Cindy

    Is this the best juice they could get from the email FOIA request? Lame.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  9. oldnavyguy2

    This is news? I thought we evolved away from public witch-hunts. Apparently, the media and its stooges, within which group I classify Mr. Gligoff as an active member, can't find the dirt they crave so badly that they have to create it. Only a parent of a child with a severe disability or deformation can have a hint of the depth of pain, sadness, self-judgement, and, yes, even guilt when facing the reality of a child with Down Syndrome. The author of the email at issue is simply a person trying to talk her way through a personal crisis of monumental proportions, no more or less. But, of course, y'all wouldn't understand that, would you? You have your own agenda to promote.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tj

      Well said!

      June 15, 2011 at 5:00 pm |
  10. Dan

    And this is news because...?

    June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  11. Walker Black

    I wouldn't vote for Sarah Palin if you stuck a gun in my ear, but anyone who thinks this is something to hold against her is a vile, petty, angry little nothing. And that's coming from a stone-cold atheist. The woman loves her "defective" child, something I don't know if I'd have the strength to do, and anyone who tries to score political points with this story should seriously consider self-immolation.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  12. EarthMother

    God apparently loves Sarah more than the rest of the world's population of women. What other 44-year old woman in her 7th pregnancy gets to have it so extraordinarily easy that she doesn't show visible signs of pregnancy until about 2 weeks before delivery and gets to surprise her family. What other woman experiences pregnancy without discomfort? Is Sarah the new Eve or did she make a deal with the Devil?

    Or is she merely a fabulist whom the media is afraid to question?

    June 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • GOD HIMSELF {ahhh}

      It was a miracle!
      Even * I * couldn't believe it.
      All my infinite eyes were as big as dinosaur eggs!

      June 15, 2011 at 5:06 pm |
  13. Nel

    This email struck me as beautiful. And much much sane-er than the hateful bigots leaving the 'Palin is insane and a zealot' comments IN RESPONSE TO A WOMAN TURNING TO HER SPIRITUALITY TO COME TO TERMS WITH TRAGEDY; her congenitally disabled child. JESUS ROLLERCOASTERING CHRIST did someone just say that the Tri in Trig stands for Trisomy?! I think I just vomited in my mouth a little bit.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  14. Shawn

    Making a email to look like God sent it show a very deranged Mind. No one I want in office.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • Artist

      And seems some here are missing that small tidbit. She is clearly delusional.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
  15. Mick

    "Then, I put the idea in your hearts that his name should be 'Trig' "

    So...every idea that she comes up with comes from God? She'll make a fabulous president. "Why did you do that?" "Because God put the idea in my heart."

    June 15, 2011 at 4:51 pm |
    • TexasTarotReader

      Suddenly it all makes sense. She could see Russia because of her God contacts. She must have God hearing aids too.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
  16. Sara

    This is a post from God – This woman is nuts.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:50 pm |
  17. AJ

    She's kind of nuts. Thinking she speaks for God.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  18. Sara

    This chick is CA-RAZY!

    June 15, 2011 at 4:49 pm |
  19. Marie

    What a beautiful, wonderful, heartfelt letter. I too have a wonderful special needs child with William Syndrome who was made perfect. I LOVE Sarah Palin for writing this letter. It lifts my heart in a way I cannot express. I will always look at her differently now. She is a beautiful sincere mother and I'm so sorry that so many people have chosen the path of hateful speech and actions towards her. CNN your headlines of articles on her are misleading...a real disgrace to journalism and genuine character.

    June 15, 2011 at 4:48 pm |
    • m

      IDIOT Palin! GOD is a MAN!...lol

      June 15, 2011 at 4:52 pm |
    • bristol

      I also loved this letter and I consider it sincere.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:54 pm |
    • Tri-G - Trisomy G

      @ bristol, above:

      yeah mommy sure got you out of a bad situation, didn't she.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:59 pm |
  20. marcus

    Grannys a serious "nut" case here folks. I just wonder how G O D looks at her extreme views and her favorite sayings with the CROSSHAIRS thingy. Granny grizzly, you are a real dooooozy that puts america in very very very bad and ignorant light. You make me want to puke you damn nut job moron!!

    June 15, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Bill Mosby

      Looks like Creator was also interested in giving you the opportunity to help show what true imperfection looks like, lol.

      June 15, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
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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.