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. Jim

    What a load of maudlin, pretend emotion...stuff.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  2. Joseph

    This is a bit more crazy than moving.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  3. JD Row

    I just laughed at this. I am laughing even more at the comments. Grow up people. Who doesn't occasionaly slip an email home from the work computer. So what if she has decided what she thinks God would think about her kid? What has happened to us?

    June 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  4. Kevin

    As an independent and centrist, I try to give people like Palin the benefit of the doubt. I used to think: Oh, she is misunderstood, or something along those lines. But, the more she speaks, like saying "i am a redneck and proud of it," or saying publicly "We need to attack Iran" (which any presidential candidate should not say publicly if that is his/her actual intention, so Iran doesn't know), I started to have doubts. Now, I think she is just embarassing herself. I don't hate her as I don't hate people but I certainly don't respect her, with the exception that she is a mother of a Down's Syndrome baby, which I can empathize with.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
  5. S Callahan

    As a Grandmother whose first grandchild was born premature not too long ago with some challenges. I find the letter to be very touching. God is the perfector of all things.... what is so shameful in putting your trust in Him. From reading, I gather this letter was meant for family and friends, not the international community... either way, it shows a healthy outlook on the future of their son..and that is not bad.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Ron

      I am so glad that no one in my family is dependent on Sara Palin for a future.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:32 pm |
  6. Amanda

    You know... maybe if she hadn't kept trying to have kids so late in life the poor boy would not have been born with Down Syndrome. This is a case where it's on her. Not to mention this letter is just a great example of how nuts she is. Anyone whoever tries to write an email like they're "God" has issues.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Tom L

      You are disgusting. Who are you to tell someone whether they should have a baby or not. Judgemental and pathological is what you are to care so much about a woman whom you know nothing personally about.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • JD Row

      I find this comment to be beyond the deapest bowels of humanity. Amanda, I really hope you don't reproduce if only to save us from the mentaly impaired offspring you would produce.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:18 pm |
    • HaHA

      Who is she to tell people when to have a baby or not?

      I dunno. Are you pro-choice? Because if you are a "pro-Lifer"...

      Who are you to tell someone when to have a baby or not?

      June 15, 2011 at 7:23 pm |
    • Conmon

      Hey idiots... Amanda actually makes a valid point. Go ahead and look up the figures for women over certain ages and see the correlation with health problems in the offspring... It is scientific fact. The older a woman, the more chance for complications in her offspring.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:27 pm |
  7. Tom L

    Nice try media, but this is backfiring on you big time. We have now discovered that she is a very thoughtful, engaged, compassionate and hard working governor. Nothing more, nothing less.
    Palin – 24,000
    Media – 0

    June 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • HaHA

      Yeah. She worked really hard at campaigning when she should have been being a governor, then quit halfway through.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
    • What?

      She's a FREAKIN IDIOT....nothing else....

      June 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
    • sherrie

      I agree that this letter, while at times a little cheesy (please tell me Van isn't one of this poor kid's names!) was very sweet and thoughtful, as well as incredibly hopeful about bringing a child into the world with disabilities. And I respect Sarah Palin's choice to do it, as well as how much she obviously loves her family.

      That said, I still don't respect her politics nor want her as president. I still think she'd quit halfway through, just like she did her last job in office. She may be a fab mom, but that doesn't make her a fab politician.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:30 pm |
  8. Topix

    Palin thinks shes GOD! She must be the stereotypical crazy woman, she must be, cause the media says so!

    Look at that evil woman, she is hiding something and we must find it, we must!

    There must be something worthwhile talking about here, I believe everything I read here cause I'm a liberal.

    Get serious folks...

    June 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
  9. Amber

    Dear God,
    Thank you for your grace in not having me on Sarah Palin's email contact list

    June 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Ron


      June 15, 2011 at 7:34 pm |
  10. Ms Atheist

    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 |
  11. Chainyanker

    According to the Book of Leviticus in the Old Testament Sarah Palin is Unclean and has committed Abominations! She has field cleaned moose that she hunted and killed. The moose is an animal with a divided cloven hooves. To eat such an animal much less field clean it is against God's will as told to Moses, such acts are Abominations and she is therefore Unclean. Figures. Read Leviticus. I'm an agnostic, btw, but the nut from Alaska claims to be a believer but doesn't follow God's word in her holy book.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • Simon

      She claims to be Christian, not Jewish. The CNN response tool needs its own fact checker...

      June 15, 2011 at 7:15 pm |
    • Terry Smith

      I won't go into a huge rant, but it is evident from your comments you don't know jack about the Book. Read Acts and you'll find your answer to Leviticus. I get tired of people claiming more knowledge than they have.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:28 pm |
  12. Tex

    I think it is a beautiful letter from a mother who clearly loves her child no matter what. LOTS of people try to figure out what God would say about certain things. There are books in bookstores right this very minute that do that very thing. That CNN would post Gov. Palin's heartfelt letter and then ask "what do you think" is childish.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Chainyanker

      It could be that her god is punishing her for being so stupid.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Pattypal

      I can't stand Palin. I think she is an idiot and the thought of her becoming the first woman President is gut wrenching. That said, I agree with Tex regarding CNN's ridiculous coverage of this email. They just can't seem to get enough Palin; I can only imagine that she is bring in the bucks for them and that is all they care about...actual news would be a novelty.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:21 pm |
  13. CHARLEY60

    I fail to see why it is a public news story. She wrote it at the time to those who knew her.She used a message that they would understand was her trying to deal with a terrible burden, and working to find a way to meet a upcoming challenge. For me I think more of her for this. I didn't know of any of it before today. Many of us have had to deal with serious matters in our lives, things that would change us for the rest of our time here, that had been unplanned for. A believer will often ask how would God want me to handle this. She wrote what she felt his answer would be. Not only for her,but maybe to give comfort to others as well.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  14. Jack

    This woman is a 100% Certified Grade A Nut. I'd rather take my chances with that other nut in North Korea having his finger on the bomb than this looney. God help this world is she ever gets anywhere near the US presidency.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
    • Chainyanker

      I agree she is an ignorant nut. Having a child when she was in her 40's was totally irresponsible since the chances of having a Down's child is much greater, what was she thinking...obviously not with her brain! We don't need irresponsible politicians, there's enough of them already.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
    • Jay

      Agreed. Totally deluded

      June 15, 2011 at 7:13 pm |
  15. Marie Kidman


    June 15, 2011 at 7:07 pm |
  16. Jon

    Heh. It's been pointed out that a surprising number of hymns speak in the first person as God. A thoughtful look finds this troubling. Who are we to speak as if we were God? Even poetically? Perhaps this should be limited to text from the canon where God speaks e.g. "I am the Lord your God". Anything more is questionable. The hymn writers meant no harm of course and I'd argue that no hymns should be thrown out. But we might want to sing them less often, or use alternate texts. Something to think about, at least. It is reasonable to have qualms here.

    None of these qualms appears to have even occurred to Palin. Not one. She was ready and willing to speak as if she were God.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:06 pm |
    • Doesn't matter

      How many times do I have to say this. God was speaking through her and that e mail is an e mail from God.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:08 pm |
    • GayAllTheWay

      "How many times do I have to say this. God was speaking through her and that e mail is an e mail from God."

      God is speaking through gays to say put down your hatred, they are born this way.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm |
    • Ms Atheist

      LOL!!! "An email from god"!! LOL!!! I guess since he quit booming a voice at bushes and Moses that he had to wait for email to be invented to resume communicating. LOL!!!!

      June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
    • Terry Smith

      I am assuming you are not religious. Religious people, who are comfortable with their relationship with God, understand what Sarah is doing here. She's not claiming revelation or acting as a prophet. She's echoing the beliefs of her faith in an important time for her family. It's a sermon, a sunday school lesson, a prayer. If you don't believe me, ask someone who's a regular churchgoer–let him read the email and tell him what I said– and see if he agrees that what she did is a little unorthodox, but not out of bound.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:17 pm |
    • Terry Smith

      You must be kidding. Palin was being unorthodox, b;ut not out of bounds. There are greeting cards and essays and all kind of popular things that take this tack. Two sets of footprints on the sand–"It was then I was carrying you.." Sound familiar? (If not, ask around. ) Nobody's raised a stink about that one. Church is based on a set of common beliefs. Eventually they become part of people's vocabulary. This is a major cultural divide–if you're not a regular churchgoer, you see this as arrogant. If you are, you understand that people speak the words of God to each other in prayers, sermons, lesson– for support, comfort and to help us want to do good.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm |
    • Chainyanker

      Anybody got God's email address? I got a couple of questions for him/her/it.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:39 pm |
  17. Ardiva

    The audacity of speaking for God!! How absolutely ludicrous!

    June 15, 2011 at 7:05 pm |
    • CHARLEY60

      What do you do every Sunday, in church, if not listen to God's word read to you and then told to you what it says?

      June 15, 2011 at 7:25 pm |
  18. Albert

    I'm a Democrat and I have my opinions about Palin....but this is a bit much. This is a letter written by a mother coping with the fact that her unborn son will have disabilities. You have to be pretty narrow minded to just assume she wrote this letter as if she were on some big ego trip. You guys need to relax...this article was dumb.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
    • Efflyn

      I agree with you. I think Sarah Palin is a certifiable nut case, but this "letter from God" was just a mother's way of trying to c ome to terms with a , in many ways "life sentence". Of course, most parents who give birth to a baby who is seen as less than perfect will go on to provide that child with incredible love and support. But, reality says, it ain't easy. Sarah and her husband must have been questioning all that is life and faith and everything else when faced with the news of their upcoming birth. As an OB nurse, I can only say that what I read in that letter seemed like the words of a struggling, questioning, but accepting and asking for acceptance of a bewildered parent, nothing more, nothing less. I can't stand the woman and all she stands for in her public and political life, but I think we should let that particular e-mail find it's way into the black hole of "this was no one's business." Too bad SHE chose to make ANY of it public reading. That is more what I question!! Forget the e-mail, folks, and focus on the other VERY disturbing attributes and practices of this profoundly bizarre woman, but who DOES love her children and is a good Mom to them, as much as I can tell.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  19. frank

    In my considered opinion, she's a dominatrix.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:03 pm |
  20. a vet

    I see a lack of tolerance for Sarah's religion. I thought intolerance was a Christian attribute.

    Are some of these intolerant contributors closet Christians? If not consider that many are acting in a judgmental, mean-spirited way. Every intellectual person knows that can only be interpreted as being Christian behavior.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:01 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.