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. Santa Claus

    How many of you people have written a note to your kids and signed it Santa Claus???

    June 15, 2011 at 8:02 pm |
  2. Someone looking for news

    From: A reasonably intelligent American
    To: Dan Gilgoff
    Subject: Pap

    Dear Dan,

    It seems you have way too much time on your hands and/or are overpaid. Since we care about you as a fellow American, but also the collective intellect about our socially ailing nation, please put your thinking cap on and try a bit harder to provide news topics actually salient and worthy of discussion.


    All CNN.com readers

    June 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  3. Jake

    Surprise baby??.. Yeah, right..!!!! I guess Todd was too lazy to put on a cond0m..!!

    June 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  4. Matt

    The Internet would be better if we couldn't comment on stories. None of us know her or her family. Stop judging. You don't have to like her, or her coping methods, or her religion, but keep it to yourself. This in no way affects your life.

    June 15, 2011 at 8:00 pm |
    • matt as well

      God I hope you are right in that she won't effect my life....people aren't that stupid as to actually vote and support her, are they?

      June 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm |
    • The First Matt

      I was referring to the email she sent when I said it would not affect anyone's life. Politics, no thanks. That's a silly thing to argue about on the Internet. Though yes, clearly she'd affect our lives if she became president.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:13 pm |
  5. lumberjesus

    Sarah is a dunce of the highest order. Like other simpletons brainwashed into believing in a "god" that conforms to your geographical location. I do agree that Trig was created in gods image though. We don't need another bush like troglodyte within 100 yards of any political office.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Joe K

      Your an Idiot

      June 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Kerygma

      Shut your pie face!!

      June 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm |
  6. Reality Check

    Why do we care about this?

    June 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • Rose

      The majority of us don't. But this article is a trolls wet dream!

      June 15, 2011 at 8:17 pm |
  7. Basil1218

    So, let me get this straight. A disease such as downs syndrome is a blessing from God. To teach us lessons about how we see what is 'normal' or 'perfect'. At the same time, as many Christians have stated, AIDs and HIV are punishments from God. Right. Got it.
    I love the bit about '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.' Mind you, if this perfect and unique creature happens to be gay or lesbian then they are clearly devoid of God and his precious love. Moose Killing Hypocrite!

    June 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Will

      I do not think that is right. God forgives and forgets. He told us that He would be the judge. It is the sinful who decide to judge on God's behalf who are the ones who should be worried. That is what the Bible says. (This message is written to believers in the Bible. No others.)

      June 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • unknown

      It's amazing that you criticize her and call her a hypocrite for what other people say, and not what she says. It's really sad if you look at all Christians like that because of the things some so-called Christians have said.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:16 pm |
    • Basil1218

      I'm sorry Unknown...did I miss something? Is Ms. Palin a supporter of the gay community? Last time I checked she was not. It is, actually, hypocritical to make such open minded statements spewing love and acceptance as the voice of God while being so incredibly biased and hate-driven against a particular group of people. A group of people who are, in fact, just as deserving and worthy of Gods love and acceptance as everyone else. Ms. Palin has taken it upon herself to be the beacon of Christian morality as well as a budding politician. How about you be more concerned with things like the separation of church and state. How about we take a good long look at Ms Palins behaviour and her words and realize that she reflects hatred and ignorance...NOT Christianity.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:22 pm |
  8. Kerygma

    That's it!! Is this the best liberals can do?! Ha!

    June 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
  9. Drew

    No one has ANY right to release her e-mails like this. Disrespectful and they should be kept private.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Bob

      COMPLETELY agree!

      June 15, 2011 at 7:55 pm |
    • Ron

      They are GOVERNMENT e-mails. GOVERNMENT, tax-payer property. What do you not understand about that??

      June 15, 2011 at 7:57 pm |
    • pithymcgee

      This isn't a leak of emails, genius. It's material from her time spent in office, at taxpayer expense. It was acquired legally, through the Freedom of Information Act. Get a clue.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Reality Check

      We have the right because Palin used her official email. Privacy is not a major concern because she already released the content of the email so releasing does serve a purpose of confirming her account.

      My only question is why CNN bothered - she is not a candidate for office, Thank You, Heavenly Father.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
    • P

      She released it herself – in her book.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:03 pm |
    • Joe K

      This whould be true. But In this case, since the media can not find or create any dirt out of theses Emails. They are making her Look better whether on purpose or accident, who can the left come up this week.....Anthony Weinner! !!!

      June 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
    • MC

      Couldn't agree more. Not only should Palin not have released this crap on an unsuspecting public, but I think one can make a cogent argument that she doesn't even have the right to write this crap.

      June 15, 2011 at 8:12 pm |
  10. kirk

    Hey I am NO FAN of ms palin, I think she is foolish and would be dangerous if she became our nations leader, HOwever, I have no prolem with this letter she wrote. It was her way of working out this difficult situation of having a down syndromed child. actually I thought it was quite nice. I think she is nuttier than a fruit cake. but in this instance I say leave her be

    June 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  11. Connie

    It is written at 2:15pm on a Monday. So much for getting any work done, eh?

    June 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  12. Bob

    Nut job

    June 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
  13. Dennis

    I usually enjoy bashing Sarah, but I'll pass on this one. That part of her life is one thing she didn't ask for.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  14. David

    I don't like her politics and would never vote for her but how can someone say such evil things about a mother who was trying to soften the blow to her family and explain their new brother's situation? If you think she's a hater of certain groups of people and you're a member of that group, I'm a member of 2 of them, then you only demean yourself by returning the hate. Grow up, don't be shallow.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:53 pm |
  15. mary

    I think this is wonderful and shows a woman with a great compassion. The media deaming themselves worthy enough to comment on someones private struggles and private correspondence – from Palin to loved ones is outrageously wrong.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
  16. AT

    I am not a fan of Sarah Palin, however I think this e0mail madness is very disrespectful. I did not read the letter because I think a person's correspondence is personal. When we were children our parents taught us to respect each other's space and privacy. My mom and dad did not read each other's mail! Whatever Mrs. Palin wrote to her family/friends is none of our business. I hope the media learns something from this letter whatever it contains. Maybe someone would be compelled to know the Christ she loves and speaks about.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm |
    • Ron

      It is a GOVERNMENT e-mail account, so it IS our business. Period.

      June 15, 2011 at 7:54 pm |
    • Michelle

      Totally agree and I cant stand her. Makes us over here on the moderate left look really bad – stop it!

      June 15, 2011 at 7:56 pm |
    • Boyd

      She included the e-mail herself in her book. Or did you not read the article?

      June 15, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
  17. Connie

    Just confirms what the majority have thought all along, she's a WHACKO who acts like she's God.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  18. SouthernDemocrat

    I am no fan of Sarah Palin. I think she would be dangerous as President of the United States. However, people who make fun of her and belittle her for this e-mail are just cruel and heartless. How do you know how she feels? Who are you to judge? Her public life is fair game for scrutiny, but give the woman a break and worry about your own problems.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  19. Col1

    Really really sad CNN. You guys are digging up something that was never there to begin with. You should be completely ashamed of yourselves for this bullcrap. Shes obviously writing a letter in the idea of what she believes God would think about the situation. Shes clearly doesnt think she's God which is obviously what you are suggesting. From what I can tell she is celebrating life in all its forms and respecting the decision God made to bless her with a down syndrome child. You people are sick and twisted and should be fired for this kind of crappy reporting.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:51 pm |
  20. Tracy

    I found this a beautiful expression of a mother's heart. As a mother of a chid with Autism, I understand the pain and joy of mothering a special needs child. I also understand the judgment and pity of others and think this is a beautiful way to reach out and encourage those who may not understand.

    June 15, 2011 at 7:50 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.