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. Mike in SA

    Gotta love the haters here. Wonder how morally decrept their lives must be to hammer someone for writting a letter to her family and friends letting them know about her special needs child. Yes, it was written as if God wrote it, so what? Have the haters and naysayers here never read any fiction? Never read anything in the Third Person? Get a grip, people. Hate her politics and her? Fine, but this letter? Beautiful.

    June 19, 2011 at 4:32 pm |
  2. Francisco

    I don't agree with her Politics, but this letter is Amazing !!!! It reminds us that all of God's human being creations don't have to be 'Perfect' according to our own standards of whatever perfect means to us, that is why people need more acceptance of one another with ALL the differences that all of us might have.

    June 19, 2011 at 9:08 am |
  3. Gwen Lebec

    This is a lovely letter and a lovely way for Sarah to have prepared others for Trig's arrival. It is nice to see that there is a niche, a calling that Palin is actually qualified for – as a spokesperson for Down's children. I hope she eventually really hears God's voice and understands that he sent her Trig because he is trying to show her the real path she is supposed to be walking. Unfortunately while it is clear that Sarah does love Trig she is still putting herself and her own ego before God's plan for her and Trig.

    June 19, 2011 at 8:57 am |
  4. Stunned

    No person should ever pen a letter in the name of god. It's not about the child's handicap. Read "Blind Allegiance." The woman is the most un-christian person ever. She expects others to be her religion. Every faith should be offended that she would even consider becoming the voice of god.

    June 19, 2011 at 8:56 am |
    • Anna

      You're wrong.

      June 19, 2011 at 12:12 pm |

      OMG! Really?

      June 19, 2011 at 10:08 pm |
  5. CdnJim

    1) The Idea of Sarah Palin as president is terrifying. She is not very smart
    2) CNN is obsessed with her, the Politica; Ticker should be renamed, SarahPalin.CNN
    3) Her e-mail to friends and family is a beautiful piece of writing, that many people will read and send again and again. It's touching and for those that believe in God, inspiring. Criticize her political ambitions if you will, but this personal e-mail is real, heart-warming and inspirational.

    June 18, 2011 at 7:49 am |
    • eeetee

      I agree with all three of these points. Thanks for expressing them!

      June 19, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
  6. Julie

    I can't believe you are running another story on Sarah Palin. You guys are pathetic! How about an indepth investigation on the Obama administration selling guns to mexican cartels and these guns showing up at crime scenes. Where were you during the healthcare debate. Did you report on Obama's backroom deals with drug and insurance companies to sell out Americans healthcare? You certainly have screwed up priorities. You attack Sarah Palin repeatedly over nothing to cover up the actions of the Obama administration. You have betrayed your readers but they don't care as long as they can spew hate to the people you tell them to hate. No thinking required.

    June 18, 2011 at 3:35 am |
    • Anna

      Well said!

      June 19, 2011 at 12:14 pm |
    • JayGee


      I agree they are obsessed with her, but you are only fueling the fire with your (quite long) response. People are interested in the topic – you are one of those people. If you want CNN to stop following her, it is probably best to not respond with long, opinionated responses. It only keeps people coming back for more, i.e., more traffic for CNN (a bussiness sucess in their eyes).

      June 19, 2011 at 12:54 pm |
  7. Z

    I am normally not a Sarah Palin fan. But if this is the only case where she talks like God, she should be forgiven.

    June 17, 2011 at 7:37 pm |
  8. shannon

    I am completely amazed by the animosity in so many of the comments. As the mother of a child with Down Syndrome, I find this letter very moving. She so beautifully describes the joys and blessings that come along with a diagnosis of DS.

    June 17, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • deb

      But who exactly is rearing this child, not to mention the others she still has at home? She's too busy running around the country spewing nonsense, dividing the country, being a "look at me" narcissist. She's a hypocrite. All she really cares about it getting rich at the expense of the idiots who believe she has some sort of agenda.

      June 19, 2011 at 4:15 pm |
  9. Joshua the Agnostic

    wait Sarah Palin isn't god? dang it

    June 17, 2011 at 3:49 pm |
    • God

      No, she's behind on her union dues. Don't worry, she's paying for it one way or the other.

      June 19, 2011 at 10:09 pm |
  10. jimj

    You judgmental prigs! I am NOT a Palin fan, but the knowledge that your child is going to live with 'special needs' is hard to take. I commend parents who rise to the occasion and provide a phenomenal world for these children, but I have sympathy for those who struggle. As the parent of a special needs child, I share Ms.Palin's recognition that 'perfect' comes in different forms. My autistic daughter is a wonderful presence in a life that occasionally gets defined by silly expectations of the right kinds of accomplishment and status.
    It is a struggle to try to understand how these kids fit in the world whether from a religious perspective or more practical perspective. Trying to voice that so others can be more open-minded is no crime.
    Before you judge Palin on her e-mails, think about how the world would percieve you if all of your electronic communication was put on display for all to see.

    June 17, 2011 at 3:38 pm |
    • bINA

      To claim the mantle of a message from God is not a big deal we see people claim this all the time. But to claim that God would bless you by making life harder on another human being , in this case your own son, is beyond belief.

      June 19, 2011 at 9:09 am |
  11. A Palin Fan and Another Mom of a Disabled Child

    As the mother of a severely disabled child, who did not walk, or talk, who did not feed herself, was a year and a half mentally, and had a very rare type of dwarfism, I understand completely! And I really appreciate Sarah Palin for being the voice for special needs children and their parents.

    My daughter died 9 days before her 25th birthday, yet with all her disabilities, she had the sweetest personality and smile. The funeral director said they had not seen so many flowers at a service in YEARS! Our daughter had more friends who attended her memorial service than I had seen in years. In spite of those disabilities, she had a LOT of friends!I

    June 17, 2011 at 1:49 pm |
  12. lilbro1984

    Wow. Yes, this is a very touching letter from America's Favorite Drama Queen, but I find it more than just a bit twisted and grandiose that this woman would pen a note in God's name. Who does she think she is? I'm a very secular person and I don't really subscribe to any religion, but I think in doing this, she reveals herself as the stuck-up, conceited, and holier-than-thou person she truly is. I am sorry for this poor child. She is stepping on this child's back like a soapbox to advance her own confused worldview. To think, this woman is what poor Trig has to look up to. He deserves so much better.

    June 17, 2011 at 10:30 am |
    • Please no more Palin

      I could not have said it better...right on lilbro1984!

      June 18, 2011 at 12:39 am |
    • deb


      June 19, 2011 at 4:18 pm |
  13. James Black


    June 17, 2011 at 9:56 am |
  14. commander

    I'm rather surprised by the eloquence in this posting. The woman is a disappointment on any scale I could use but her email is touching. While my wife and I would have made a different choice had the decision be ours, I view Palin's choice more sympathetically having read this.

    June 17, 2011 at 8:49 am |
    • JohnR

      If it's eloquent, you can be sure she didn't write it!

      June 17, 2011 at 10:18 am |
  15. Blackberry55

    Freedom of speech and religious belief

    June 17, 2011 at 5:59 am |
  16. Hayley Lohn

    I do not support Sarah Palin at all but this article is disgusting. She is using her religion and this email as a way to cope with the news of her child being born handicapped. My brother is mentally handicapped and for all you people wondering where her son is to be seen with her, have you ever taken care of travelling with someone with Downs Syndrome? They are all different people with different cases of course. But most families have many troubles following them when they are on trips with mentally handicapped members. Trips usually have business or vacation purposes. But on a politically work based trip her son would be taken care of and given better attention at home. If she was a MAN you would not be questioning why she/he was not with their child.Another example of women being expected to put their careers behind them when men are not even questioned...

    June 17, 2011 at 5:31 am |
  17. Susie

    I think it is a bit odd, but it was sent to family and friends, so I really have no problem with it. What I DO have a problem with however, is why no one has asked Sarah Palin where exactly her beloved son Trig is as she, Todd, Piper, her parents, and occasionally other members of the Palin clan are taking this long journey around the country on their bus vacation.

    Wasn't this the same baby she loved to tote around during all of her campaign speeches, almost as if to put him on display and show how compassionate she is? Isn't this the same baby that she used as a reason to set out an attack on the word "retarded" (which I happen to agree is insulting, but still an interesting thing to generate the impassioned attack she had), despite the fact that accounts from multiple people have her "jokingly" referring to Trig as her "retarded baby"? Isn't this the same child that inspired the above email that played a key role in her book, and who inspired her to raise the amount of money budgeted for special needs education and services in Alaska, just a year after she slashed a significant portion of such funds? Isn't the same child who, when asked after the 2008 elections whether she would run in 2012, she indicated the importance of the fact he would be just starting Kindergarten then? By all public statements she has gone out of her way to make it seems that Trig is much loved, and I'd like to believe it....it is something I can respect. However, again, it begs the question, if he is so loved and important, where is he?

    It is one thing for parents to take a short vacation on their own for a few days or a week even while a child stays with family. But we are talking about a very very long vacation here...one on which both of his parents are on, as well as his sister, and on which many other members of the family seem to be spending extended periods. Doesn't he miss mommy and daddy? I have no doubt he is being cared for-hopefully by family and in his own home, but perhaps by someone well-paid to see to his needs, but is it really emotionally healthy for parents to be leaving a 4 year old behind for so long? Don't most families travel together? Isn't it particularly important for a young special needs child to have regular attention from and interaction with his parents? Not that I would need him to be toted out and displayed in public or anything like that, in fact, I felt it was wrong when it was done so much during the election-after all young children should be sheltered from the crazy attention that follows the Palins around-but the lack of mention of his presence makes it pretty clear he is not taking this bus tour. Therefore, WHERE IS HE and why is no one asking?

    June 17, 2011 at 3:18 am |
    • Stunned

      Very well said!

      June 19, 2011 at 8:58 am |
    • deb

      I made the same observation above but you said it much more eloquently! She's a hypocrite, through and through. It's really "all about her".

      June 19, 2011 at 4:24 pm |
  18. Nelson Abreu

    I hate Sarah Palin. She is ignorant and dim witted, and revels in undeserved attention. But this email was beautiful. It's the most eloquent thing she has ever 'said'.

    June 17, 2011 at 2:39 am |
  19. Wsci

    Many of you have this completely WRONG– she wrote that not because she seriously was writing on God's behalf, but to give her family a possible insight and comfort to look at the challenges of having a Down's Syndrome child from the viewpoint of our Loving Creator. 🙂

    June 17, 2011 at 12:52 am |
  20. Reality

    Most politicians suffer from the Three B Syndrome, i.e. being Bred, Born and Brainwashed in some form of religion. S. Palin's Three B Syndrome came from the RCC and the Assemblies of God church, the nation's largest Pentecostal denomination.

    June 17, 2011 at 12:48 am |
    • ibivibiv

      I seriously thought you were going to say Bullsh!t, Batsh!t, and Balogne!

      June 17, 2011 at 9:47 am |
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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.