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. Sarah Palin

    I was so proud of myself and what I wrote – oh gosh I'm really wonderful – that I put it in my book. Now you all can read it yourselves and find out just how amazing and wonderful I am. I'm just so glad that I got to put this out in public so you can see how wonderful I am, and give me $25 for my book full of wonderfulness. That way I can pay the nannys who actually take care of Trig while I spend all of my time running around chumming up fear and hatred in the most patriotic way.

    June 15, 2011 at 10:02 pm |
    • no, just no

      At least this one was shorter, SP!

      June 16, 2011 at 12:09 am |
  2. janie

    The fourth paragraph of this Email: How did she know that Trig would be five weeks premature??????

    June 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  3. cantilever

    GOD to Sara: Dear Sarah, I just received a copy of this email. It made me lose part of my supper.
    Best to leave the preaching to me. In previous times, people used to let their infants die, often of typhus or other bad things. Then, well-meaning ladies would say, "God takes all the most beautiful ones," meaning the babies. Imagine how impatient I used to get with such rumors about me. I do have some patented formulas - in the Bible, and I recommend you stick to them. Come and see me when you have a moment. You are working these days, aren't you?

    June 15, 2011 at 9:42 pm |
  4. Cynthia

    I think this was a nice way to deal with her baby coming into this world with DS.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:40 pm |
    • Detroit Dave Rudebaker

      So you believe that illusion is a nice way to deal with problems? Many implicitly agree with you. But what does that say about the human race? We are unable to cope with our lives if we must face up to the truth? We must create illusions for ourselves to deal with our lives?

      I guess you are right. A great many humans ARE unable to live life without illusions, in far more ways than just religion.

      Is it really so terrible to understand that there is no supernatural enti-ty protecting you and deciding you are divinely special? Is it really so terrible to accept that none of us is as important and special and talented and pretty and lovable as we, in our illusions, wish?

      June 15, 2011 at 9:57 pm |
    • Mark from Middle River

      Dave, its just one of those things or parts of life. If she was making a effort to comfort another family that was about to go through the same rough road that she and her family had, is this then the real time for such an debate.

      In this world all of us are just trying to get from point A to point B and what ever "positive" feelings and support that we can get helps to make that road a bit less bumpy.

      When I first came to the Belief blog the famed Athiest Chris Hutchens, I think was his name, was dying from Cancer. Groups of those of Faith publically prayed for his recovery. It was so much a positive thing that even Hutchens acknowledged that even though he believed that the prayers would not help he did thank those of Faith who did pray for him.

      To me, this sorta reminded me of the "Footprints in the Sand" story. Her words were, I feel in the same spirit and if it helped in a positive way then I would just let it pass.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:12 pm |
  5. wow

    Not a fan or hater of Palin, I vote for who I believe would do the best job. I am a Christian and I read through alot of these comments and was a bit surprised more Christians weren't slightly put off by this. Sure I see alot of people saying " O' thats sweet and hearfelt" but, wow to actually write as if your God is a pretty big cringe inducing act, even if it is nice. I was pretty put off by it, I wouldn't have a problem if she wrote it from her own heart and said "I think God....". Just seems very narcissistic and controlling thing to do, not to mention a religious no-no, she would have been better off saying it from her heart or writing a poem. And yes before the trolls and only the uncaring, hateful, spite-filled, and unintelligent atheiests- Yes God exists, No I don't have to prove he does, you have to prove to me he doesn't thats how faith works, Yes just because you don't have a relationship with God and He basically ignores you isn't my fault, Yes extremely intelligent people all over the world believe in God not just the dregs as you call them, and yes a herp herp derp to you too, and finally I retorted all your hateful nonsense before you said it..... U mad bro?!?

    June 15, 2011 at 9:35 pm |
    • Wormwood

      No, actually the onus is on you, not atheists. You are making the claim God exists so therefore you have to prove such a claim otherwise what do I have to go by to believe you? I can't just take your word for it, that would be foolish. I don't believe in God – or the supernatural in general – because of a lack of evidence supporting such claims. Faith is not a means to truth, it is simply the end result of wanting to believe in something so bad regardless of the fact no evidence can substantiate your claim.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:23 pm |
    • Wormwood

      Yes plenty of smart people are religious, though that doesn't prove any religious claim. It just proves even some of the most intelligent people aren't immune to irrational belief. After all, we are all primates with partially rational minds. Having said that though, research indicates a correlation of high religiosity with low socio-economic living conditions. This would explain why poorer countries tend to have such high religiosity compared with wealthier countries (the West mainly), plus wealth generally indicates higher education – therefore more enlightened on science, etc. Exceptions always pop up, the U.S being one of them, but that could be a result of corporate power marginalizing people more so then other Western countries, thus allowing religion to not only fill the gap but in this case fly its wings. A very sad, depressing outcome.

      June 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |
    • sadstate

      These comments are so sad. God have mercy on us when Christians are accusing fellow Christians of having some form of self-centered objective instead of believing she just might be stepping out in faith. Is it possible she really believes God loves her and that her faith in Him brings her peace. Really, doesn't she deserve a break from at least those of us who are also believers? Doesn't it make you wonder where all the hate comes from? After all these centuries, the name of Jesus still causes so much commotion. Jesus warned us that we would be hated by the world. Sarah Palin should take all of the vile spewed at her as evidence that she is on the right path. I am sure she does, or she wouldn't have made it this far. She wrote this letter as a pregnant woman who was afraid. She was standing on her FAITH. She was assuring her family by expressing God's promises, through Christ, that all things work together for those that love the Lord.. I simply don't understand how an expression of faith can be seen so cynically by another Christian and actually thought to be a personality disorder. Something is very, very wrong in this country when a woman who is pregnant with a disabled child is hated/ridiculed for a sweet letter to her family REMINDING them of God's love. Have our hearts turned to stone?

      June 15, 2011 at 11:16 pm |
    • Free

      Isn't wanting to live forever in heaven a self-centered objective?

      June 16, 2011 at 12:01 am |
    • i wonder


      @Free is right. To think that an omniscient, omnipotent, magnificiently superb, perfect supernatural being loves YOU, talks to YOU and wants to spend the happy-ever-after with YOU is about as self-serving as one can get.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:16 am |
    • Free

      Yes, and lots of smart people get conned and cheated as well. The problem is that religion teaches that suppressing one's natural skepticism is desirable, in fact necessary, in order to experience the divine. There is also a level of greed involved. Religions all have a list of rewards said to await those who are faithful and dedicated.

      Heaven, Nirvana, Valhalla, Rapture, ... It's all the same pot of gold waiting at the end of the rainbow, and people have stopped speaking to their own gay children because they didn't want to jeopardize their status as one of the 'saved.' I ask you, is this any less greedy than shunning them in order to protect your social status, or career opportunities?

      June 16, 2011 at 12:18 am |
    • Free

      i wonder
      Yes, but I was also including how people are willing to shun members of their own family, consider them sinful, block people from their rights, hinder medical research that could save millions of lives, and a host of other things that cause harm to people because they were led to believe that it will increase their chances of living forever in bliss. Such greed.

      June 16, 2011 at 12:26 am |
  6. grist

    I am an atheist and think Palin is a joke of a politician. However, this was clearly a heartfelt essay by her to help prepare her and family/friends for this. Surely she was not pretending to be a god. She was imagining what her god would say. Nothing at all wrong with this. It shows a human side to her.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
    • Jesusfreaker

      I agree.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:59 pm |
  7. MacMaven

    Yes. God is going to give her a baby that will struggle its entire life, get ridiculed, and have health issues depending on the severity of the 'gift'. How ridiculous. Bottom line is that biology is not perfect, and there will be abnormalities from time to time that one will have to decide if their perseverance, long term life strategy, and financial resources will accommodate. Children with disabilities are life long commitments, and one has to decide if they can weather that type of emotional and financial storm.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:30 pm |
  8. Clayton

    Well, since god doesn't exist I guess that's the closest way for a god to message her... is to make it up yourself 😛

    June 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm |
    • Free

      Makes you wonder if the Bible isn't full of similar exercises where authors wrote what they thought God would say about something only to have it mistaken for divine inspiration later on. Future generations may read this e-mail in some "Book of Sarah" and believe it to be some prophecy.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:57 pm |
  9. Nicholas Carson

    For those of you who suggest there is no god, i must ask did you create yourself? If not then you were created by a force greater than yourself. This force would be god. If you did create yourself then you are god which i doubt since you deny the existence of god.. By the way, I typed in my real name unlike so many of you who used a pseudonym when giving your duly noted opinions.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
    • Missouri Farmer

      "i must ask did you create yourself?" No, my parents did. Didn't *your* parents ever tell you how it's done?

      June 15, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
    • frank

      I'm not sure your logical proofs are flawless.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
    • Free

      Nature is greater than any individual.

      June 15, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  10. Lynn P.

    This letter was as much therapy for herself as anything I can consider. She was trying to prepare a pleasant path for the baby, by trying to condition others' way of thinking first. Knowing she couldn't do much of that just by herself, she penned a note from God, so to speak. She wanted something bigger than herself to get the acceptance in her family and circle of friends. She was struggling with all the points she mentioned in the letter. I personally cannot stand the woman, and find her extremely annoying. She would have made a great grade school teacher or counselor of some sort. But she is definitely not presidential material. Maybe vice president in a pinch. Not trying to be mean at all.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  11. ega

    Ok, I personally despise Sarah Palin but there's nothing wrong with writing the email. An article about a woman writing an email as if God himself had written it is nothing uncommon, have you seen how many facebook messages are written as if they were messages from God, how many chain emails? In this case, this is at least a decent reason to do it. Can we just forget Sarah Palin exists and move on with our lives? The only one that looks bad with this type of articles is the editor that decided this could be "news"

    June 15, 2011 at 9:15 pm |
  12. chris

    I very much dislike Mrs. Palin politically and would never vote for her under any condition. However, I think some of the comments about 'Trig' are rather mean.

    She was simply expressing some moral support and hope for this child.

    Knock it off Palin haters! let's stick to issues that matter. This was a personal email.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:13 pm |
    • Missouri Farmer

      Not just personal, it was a *draft*, to be seen only by Sarah and her ghostwriter. The public version didn't get sent until *after* the announced birth of Trig, when the rushing along of his birth was history.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:20 pm |
  13. Marie Kidman


    June 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  14. Corbijn

    Dang she is nuts. Anything that has to do with adversity can be looked at from different angles but to pen an email as though it was from God is just bizarre. Does she really understand how weird this makes her look? Then again if she's writes emails as though they came from God probably not; she's about as far in left field as one can get, sorry far right field.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  15. mamehasan

    She's not a terrible writer - this surprised me. Frankly, I liked the letter/email.
    I thought that it was hopeful and kind - not attributes that I normally associate with Sarah Palin.
    She prepared her family and friends - and let them know that she was prepared for Trig's birth.

    It read very warm and fuzzy liberal to me. I could imagine for a moment that she's a decent human being with some depth of feeling. Then, I snap out of it. Nah.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:08 pm |
  16. Sherod

    There are some touching words in this email but....I also see so many other undertones in this message. It shows how Sarah herself was struggling with having a child with special needs. It is as if she is trying to convince herself it will be okay. She kept so much of the pregnancy a secret – even from her own family. It seems in this message she is trying to explain & justify her behavior to her family. In a sense it was easier for her to say these words "from God" than it would be coming from her. I think it also shows a hint of her "narcissism", inflated ego, & need for power/control – why else would you pretend you know what God's thoughts are, write a letter for God, & sign off in His name???

    June 15, 2011 at 9:07 pm |
    • Missouri Farmer

      Sherod, speaking of "undertones in this message" did you notice the date? Six weeks ahead of Trig's announce due date, this draft version reveals that the writer already knew that Trig would be premature. (The final version, of course, was only sent out after the Trig birth announcement.)

      June 15, 2011 at 9:16 pm |
  17. Jeff

    Is life really like a box of chocolates?

    June 15, 2011 at 9:05 pm |
  18. The Big Jeez(us)

    Isn't a sin for a human to act as though they are God?

    June 15, 2011 at 9:03 pm |
  19. Blissful Ignorant

    I send all email from "GOD" to my spam folder.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
  20. philtration

    She’s as nutty as a squirrel turd.

    June 15, 2011 at 9:00 pm |
    • Butch

      Yeah, she puts the mor in moron. Her dizzy head must be constantly ringing like Paul Revere's bells LOL.

      June 15, 2011 at 9:06 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.