Steven Waldman

Steven Waldman

Palin: God Gave Me a Down Syndrome Child To Help the Pro-Life Movement

The Sarah Palin interview with James Dobson of Focus on the Family
I’m listening to it now and will add more quotes as I transcribe but this one line really struck me as particularly fascinating. Palin and Dobson were talking about the birth of Trig. Dobson described her decision to carry Trig to term as a “powerful testimony that is to the sanctity of human life.” Palin responded that she’s a “hard core pro lifer” and believes that Trig’s arrival allowed her to “walk the walk”:

“There’s purpose in this also, for a greater good to be met…. I feel so privileged and blessed to be, I guess, chosen to have Trig in our life because I do want to help us in our cause here in allowing American to be a more welcoming nation for all of our children.”

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Josh Tinley

posted October 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm

I’m bothered that a Down Syndrome child is being treated not as a blessing or a joy but as an opportunity not to have an abortion. I don’t doubt that Palin considers Trig a joy and blessing, but suggesting that carrying a Down Syndrome baby to term was a chance for her to “walk the walk” and bolster her pro-life credentials implies that Trig is a burden that the Palins are bearing for the sake of the anti-abortion movement. I fault Dobson more than Palin for taking the conversation in this direction, but I find this entire line of reasoning troublesome.

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posted October 22, 2008 at 4:40 pm

This woman is certainly pulling out all the stops to prove her “pro-life” agenda. She has been carrying that child onto the stage with her at many of her rallies, and then hands him off to someone so she can do her thing. This gives me the impression that she is using him politically to say “aren’t I wonderful because I chose to have a Down syndrome child and prove that I am indeed a person living my faith?” Naturally I have no problem with her keeping an infant with her while she travels, but to tote him on stage? That is not necessary.
Glad she considers herself privileged to have been “chosen” to raise a special needs child. However, I don’t think anyone chose her…she happened to get pregnant, at 44 with a child with problems. That’s not choice, that’s being 44 when the risks are higher for this situation.

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posted October 22, 2008 at 4:52 pm

Just wondered why it is that folks feel their god “gives” them children to begin with, and also creates special needs children for political purposes and “blessings” and all the other things I have heard folks with special needs children say. There is guilt many times, because they think they did something wrong that caused a physical problem in their child.

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Charles Cosimano

posted October 22, 2008 at 10:45 pm

Sarah Palin is not merely stupid, she is disgusting.

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posted October 22, 2008 at 11:16 pm

Everything happens for a spiritual and physical reason Pagansister.
She was both “chosen” AND “a 44 year old at risk” for this. Neither conflicts with the other, nor does either provide a complete answer on it’s own.
Sarah Palin is an amazing woman. This country will be dramatically better because of her (or God working through her) no matter what happens in November.

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J R Dittbrenner

posted October 23, 2008 at 6:35 am

New book for the ‘old testament’, Sarah Job. Who plays the part of Satan as the Interlocutor, Dobson?
Sincerely, J R Dittbrenner

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posted October 23, 2008 at 8:34 am

Dear Pagansister.
Gov Palin isn’t “using” her son or the fact that he has down syndrome. She is a proud mom with her new baby. Any other Mom would be out showing off their new baby too but for some reason you condemn her for doing the dame and think it must be for political gain Whatever….

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posted October 23, 2008 at 10:46 am

I do not see Sarah Palin as even close to qualified for national office at this time and do not agree with many of her positions. However I do not see any problem with what she said here. Many Christians and even “spiritual but not religious” people hold the belief of “everything happens for a purpose”. It is a way of accepting and making the best of situations that are less than ideal. Others may hold other beliefs as to whether god gives us children or whatever but she sounds very sincere. We all have our own way of coping and processing situations and nobody can really know the “why” of it all.
Maybe the story of Trig will spur activism for better opportunities for special needs children as well as encourage women not to abort Downs’ syndrome babies. I have heard that Down’s syndrome people are very loving and open, perhaps those very intelligent people on the spiritual blogs who are quick to snipe and pick apart others could learn something from them.

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posted October 23, 2008 at 1:33 pm

I agree that mothers’ like to show off their new babies, However in this non-normal situation…running for political office, I don’t think I’d be carring a new born on and off stage at my political events, no matter whether the newborn is a special needs child or not.
Yes, Down Syndrome children are loving and affectionate, and also are prone to many health problems in life. A former neighbor’s 50 year old Down syndrome man was affectionate and loving also. He had to be taught appropriate behavior, as many are inclined to just hug and love everyone. That behavior isn’t regulated in Down Syndrome folks. He has lived longer than expected, due to his excellent care (which his Mother could afford). He will never live on his own. He works under supervision, out of the house. She has died, and his brother now has him living with him. Personally I would think long and hard before I would make the decision Sarah made.
Each woman has to decide for herself.
Yes, Vern, Sarah is an amazing woman…amazingly inexperienced and not ready for the office of VP. Hopefully that won’t happen. As to being “chosen” to have a Down Syndrome child? Why does a divine being “give” folks non-healthy children? I can’t accept that as a reason. It is an extra chromosome, pure and simple, that occurs sometimes in pregnant older women.

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posted October 23, 2008 at 1:51 pm

Well, I have several things very much in common with Sarah Palin:
1) I, too, was raised in an Assemblies of God church for the first 20 years of my life (in Washington State).
2) I, too, have a 17-year-old son with Down syndrome.
However, I am (now) a SINGLE, full-time working Mom.
I will say several things about how I personally relate to/view Sarah Palin….
1) One thing I realized when I was diagnosed (after amnio) about being told I was going to have a son with Down syndrome is that you have to go through a grieving process; and I doubt seriously whether at her son being only 5-6 months old whether she would really have completed that process, no matter how ‘positive’ she talks. As absolutely wonderful as my son is, I cried EVERY SINGLE DAY WHEN I WAS PREGNANT. It was a horrible pregnancy and anything but normal; I was considered ‘high risk,’ and it was difficult to find an OB/GYN who would even take me.
2) Children with Down syndrome, especially infants, require MUCH EXTRA CARE — starting with Day One. Therapies, possible surgeries, and sometimes much more. It is a lifelong ride.
3) What I realized after having a son with Down syndrome is that this world is definitely anything BUT ‘black and white.’ And while I would have NEVER actually aborted my son after being diagnosed (and even then, I was only at a 1% chance of having that diagnosis according to my tests), it made me realize just what other women and families go through in their feelings about being given the same diagnosis. I was only 35 at the time and had one normal child already, so I could have easily done that, too. I chose not to, but it made me realize that I CANNOT SIT IN JUDGMENT OF OTHERS WHO MIGHT FEEL THAT THAT IS THEIR OWN PERSONAL OPTION. This is where I differ severely from her viewpoint.
Now while I do not personally believe in abortion, I SEVERELY differ from Sarah Palin in that she believes you should not even be given the option in cases of rape and/or incest? Oh, puleeze……what world is she living in anyway? I REALLY THINK THAT SHE PERSONALLY NEEDS TO SIT DOWN WITH A FAMILY THAT’S ACTUALLY BEEN IN THOSE SHOES BEFORE SHE CAN TALK.
For all the ‘cheery’ talk Sarah puts forth about her son, Trig, I personally know it is not an easy road. Why would she have covered up her pregnancy for so long and waited to even tell her own family? HUH? That kind of thing affects the ENTIRE family, believe me.

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posted October 23, 2008 at 9:45 pm

Thanks for sharing your story, BJD.

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Lin Goodman

posted October 23, 2008 at 10:48 pm

Governor Palin may feel blessed with a downs syndrome child, but she has no idea about living with and caring for a growing, special needs child, as she has yet to experience it. She knows very little about folks who have special needs, as she has yet to even employ one. Maria Shriver was on Larry King and stated that she and her husband have both asked Gov. Palin to hire a, “special needs” person to work for her and she has yet to respond, and still lacks a special needs person on her staff. A very simple and appropriate request for the woman who believes God gave her a special needs downs syndrome baby so she can enlighten the world and be a champion, for them. She just can’t hire anyone with special needs to work for her. Some, “champion”, huh?
So far, it has been said that Gov. Palin was chosen by God, to strike down the, Anti-Christ, and now she has also been chosen to give birth to a downs syndrome baby, to enlighten the world about different people, born with special needs. She just can’t bring herself to hire one of them.
Continuing with her talk of what God wants from us, it’s quite interesting to think that, of all the people in the country, He chose her. She may be charismatic, but as far as I know, she has yet to walk on water. I’ve heard her say that the war in Iraq is, “God’s will”, converting it into a, “holy war”, so she obviously agrees with the terrorists who see it as a, “Jihad” which means just that: holy war.
It’s scary that Gov. Palin believes she is one of God’s, “chosen ones”, (actually, those are supposed to be the Jews, according to the Old Testament) and that she chooses how and when she will live in accordance to God’s Ten Commandments, such as the very first one: “Thou shalt not kill”. It doesn’t say, “Thou shalt not kill other people but animals are o.k..”. It says only: “Thou shalt not kill.” Period. It’s not that difficult to understand, it is simple, clear and concise. That’s one Commandment she joyfully ignores breaking during hunting season in Alaska. I do believe hunting for one’s own survival, but not for decorating your home. And I wonder how her belief in the right to bear arms will play out in the rough neighborhoods of the inner cities. She’d basically be allowing gangs to knock each other off, I’d imagine that armed robberies would increase, as well as murders and violence overall. The other Commandment she continues to break is, “Thou shalt not lie”. At times, she seems to be making it up as she goes along. Really.
I don’t have the same kind of relationship that the Governor seems to believe she has with God. I can’t help but think that Jesus can’t be all that pleased with her. No I don’t believe, “The Prince of Peace”, would embrace her policies. Killing God’s magnificent creatures, just for the fun of it. I don’t feel that Jesus, the unorthodox faithful Jewish Rabbi that He was, would support the banning of books or taking advantage of your position as a politician, abusing the power that’s been entrusted to you. Jesus was not all that fond of politicians, anyway. Imagine her as president, abusing her power , when, where, and however she chooses. She would take this country as far back into the past as she could. Rights will disappear just like that. And who knows? She may just support another war. How about Russia, since she’s already involved with them? She was pretty angry when they invaded Georgia.
And it concerns me that she truly believe she was chosen by God to be John McCain’s running mate for Vice President, to banish the Anti-Christ, and save all, “believers” in a religion created by mankind from stories passed down, like, playing telephone, (as a kid), decades after Jesus took His seat beside God in Heaven. That she doesn’t realize that her beliefs are based on her own personal interpretation of God, and what God’s will actually is for each of us, just doesn’t sit well with me. Jesus embraced everyone filled with love, faith and the wish for peace. He broke bread with lepers and prostitutes and she wants to tell us that Jesus has since changed into a bigot, allowing only those who worshiped him, as she believes we should, into Heaven? He would be appalled to know how he was being worshiped! Used. If there truly is a celestial Jesus, He is able to see the good in our hearts and souls and would not ban anyone from the wonders of Heaven. Isn’t it said that he died to open up the gates of Heaven for all of us?
Finally, what in the world happened to the idea of separation of church and state?

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posted October 24, 2008 at 7:57 am

My baby daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome at birth less than one year ago. My pregnancy was uneventful and I felt quite blessed to be expecting my fifth child. Perhaps it was because she was my fifth, perhaps it was my relationship with God, perhaps it was holding my beautiful child in my arms…my child has been since birth, simply my child.
She has been blessed with little health issues, and yet I know there will be some difficulties ahead…is that not true of every child? She may have health and cognitive difficulties, but she is a joy to behold.
Perhaps Sarah Palin feels as I do, that this child is simply her beloved child. There are no guarantees in life on anything, the only thing we can provide for our family and friends is love. Governor Palin is bringing her beautiful son to events to show the world that there is reason for celebration and not sorrow. He should be celebrated as any child. I applaud Sarah Palin for showing the world that children with disabilities are rightfully valued for themselves.

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posted October 29, 2008 at 1:59 pm

All I have to say is, don’t judge Sarah Palin untill you’ve actually walked a couple of miles in her shoes. You don’t know her heart, you don’t know anything about her spiritual/political/family life. You only know what you see in the media, which HALF of it is not even accurate, and perhaps the other half you take out of context. I understand that their are things that you disagree with her on based on her values, morals, beliefs and etc., but please stop placing judgement upon her as if you know everything about her.

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posted October 29, 2008 at 6:42 pm

In reply to Lin Goodman’s comments… Before we throw out so much judgment on Sarah Palin, find out how she really thinks and feels. So many of your comments grieve me. Where did you get this thing that God has called her to “strike down the Anti-Christ?” I doubt that she said that. I believe that God has put her in the position she’s in because I’ve personally talked to God myself about it! What right have you to tell her she has to hire a special needs person? Your letter offends me in many ways. You have a right to your opinion and I have a right to mine–freedom of speech is still okay in America! This whole campaign has been so full of hatred and slander and I’ll be glad when it’s over with. Regardless of what we think, in the end GOD HAS EVERYTHING UNDER CONTROL and I’m going to pray that America will be restored because she is broken! The only way it’s going to be “fixed” is for all of us to do our part in trying to be more like Jesus ourselves. I believe that Sarah Palin’s heart is pure and it’s obvious to me that she loves God and wants to be a shining light in this dark world.

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True Believer

posted November 3, 2008 at 9:30 am

Dear JPA-
I, too, have personally talked to God about this and HE told me that HE did NOT put Sarah Palin in this position. HE told me that she is being used by special interests who want to control the resources and wealth of this great nation for their own economic purposes. These special interests know that wedge issues such as the weakening of the separation of church and state and the right of the government to force a woman to carry a child to term can help win an election.
During our many conversations, God has also told me that we should not judge a woman’s greatness simply because she chose to get pregnant at the age of 43, which greatly increases one’s chance of having a special needs child, but rather in her behavior towards others. HE told me that HE is not happy that she would endanger Trig’s health by boarding a plane after she was already leaking amniotic fluid and was in the early stages of labor. HE is unhappy with the morals she has instilled in her teenage daughter, who became pregnant out of wedlock by a man who used his myspace page to threaten his enemies, saying “Ya f*** with me I’ll kick a**”. HE is unhappy with her decision to let nannies raise her children while she crisscrosses the country promoting her image as a Supermom. But most of all, HE is unhappy that she would deny young girls who are raped the chance to have normal lives free from the burden of an unwanted pregnancy. HE is unhappy that she also thinks these young girls should pay for their own evidence collection kits so that the filty rapists can be found and taken off the streets. In fact, God is very unhappy right now with how blasphemers are using HIS name for their own greed for power.

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posted November 4, 2008 at 6:41 pm

I am so sad that this election has been so divisive. It is definately light vs darkness. I feel sorry for those who find it necessary to be so vile against Sarah Palin. She is simply a woman who was thrust upon the world scene in a moment history will record, if those in power allow history to be written as it occurs, as a monumental moment. I can’t believe anyone would liken an animal to a human being. Humans live forever and have a spirit given by God. Animals are here for our comsumption and our needs. We are the higher being, not they. It is so bizarre for someone to say killing a moose and eating it are as bad as killing a child in the act of being born by sucking out its brain. Shame on anyone who criticizes a mother who loves her child. The only reason there is so much hatred against Sarah Palin is because she is a real woman. She accepts responsiblity for her actions, her choices and makes things happen. She doesn’t wait around to find out what other women think is Ok. She is moved by the Spirit of the Most High God and makes no apologies. As a woman who grew up in the 60’s, I was embarrassed by the women who hated their husbands and burned their bras in protest – of what? I have worked all my life, taken care of my children and family and am proud and grateful and very humbled that God has walked every step with me. I am not ashamed of the Gospel. It is the power of God unto Salvation. We have a lot of people to pray for. We all may think our votes count, but it is God who counts the votes. It is his story, his world and his call. It doesn’t matter if you agree or not. That’s just the way it is. God Bless and have mercy on our Beautiful America and God Bless Sarah Palin.

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posted November 19, 2008 at 8:40 pm

She is whacked!

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posted June 12, 2014 at 7:35 am

I respect Sarah Palin and I am proud of her. Being pro-life is what we are all called to do. The ultimate goal is to be in heaven one day with our Lord. Good for Palin following God’s plan. I

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