The Enigma of How President Reagan defeated Jimmy Carter
and the turn toward global peace that Carter had initiated.

By John McConnell

JUNE 11, 2004

President Carter still does not seem to know why he failed in 1980 to obtain the release of the hostages in Iran. Had he succeeded, he would have won another term as President and been able to continue his great efforts for peace.

Intead, Ronald Reagan - the Hollywood Communicator - became President. The War Department Dealers in Death (who make billions from devislish weapons of war) were delighted. They were able to continue their propaganda for "Peace throught Strenth." Ever since then, the peacemakers - who follow the way of nonviolence - have been ignored. Now the whole world is infused with the lust for the power of weapons and is headed for destruction.

Here is the reason for President Carter's failure.

I was in Iran at the time, seeking the release of the hostages. I built my case on the idea that our two countries shared one important view. We recognized the annual event that could best further a peaceful future for our planet.

In 1970 I had inaugurated the first Earth Day. The date I chose for this event was March 21 -- the First Day of Spring. This annual event -- when night and day are equal all over the world -- was shared by the whole world. In Iran it was their New Year - (NoRuz). Throughout history it had been a special event in many countries.

In 1975, with the help of Senator Mark Hatfield, Congress designated March 21 as Earth Day and President Ford issued an Earth Day Proclamation. The annual Earth Day observance at the United Nations on the first day of Spring was a key factor in ending the Cold War and aiding "peace, justice and the care of Earth."

However, politicians interested in getting attention for their environmental efforts borrowed the name. Shortly after San Francisco proclaimed the March Earth Day they changed the name of their "Environmental Teach-In" which was planned for April 22 to "Earth Day."

Unfortunately, on January 1, 1980 President Carter issued his "April 22 Earth Day Proclamation." This hindered my efforts to convince Iran that our most important holiday was the same as theirs and that release of the hostages on NoRuz would further our mutual commitment to the meaning of NoRuz.

Had my prior repeated efforts to get the ear of Jimmy Carter been successful, with his understanding and help the hostages would have been released and he would have won the election.

It is indeed an Enigma -- how his Earth Day Proclamation actually defeated his efforts for peace.


John McConnell - Founder of Earth Day
Email sent to President Carter 11-16-02. I've received no reply.

Dear President Carter:

Congratulations! I have long admired your persistant efforts to follow the command of Jesus that we be true peacemakers. I'm delighted that you received the Nobel Peace Prize.

You and I share a faith in the power of prayer. I was re-reading Frank Laubach's little book, "PRAYER - the Mightiest Force in the World" when a phone call came that told me you are the winner of the Nobel Prize. I had been thinking of the "Camp Farthest Out" where we had wonderful sessions of prayer. Your sister was there.

Frank Laubach said that other weapons converted enemies into skeletons, but prayer can convert them into friends. The faith that works by love can move mountains when we pray. I know it helped make the annual UN Peace Bell ceremony on Earth Day a powerful force for peace.

We must unite global efforts for peace. You and I have a special mutual faith and now must get together.

Please call me.

Warm regards,

John McConnell
Phone: 303/758-7687
4924 E. Kentucky Circle
Denver, CO 80246


Subj: 1980 Iran - For President Carter
Date: 11/12/02 10:18:05 PM Mountain Standard Time
From: TrusteeOne



[Taken from a transcript of a tape I made at my home on February 12, 1980. Later (March 25, 1980), I gave a copy of the tape to Akbar Zadeh, one of the students I met during my visit to the American Embassy in Tehran where the hostages were being held. He later said he loved the tape and asked if I could give it to him, which I did. I was seeking the release of the hostages - which did not happen then. My visit did open up better communications between our countries and did help in the later release of the hostages. Since then Iran has participated with us at the United Nations Peace Bell Ceremony on Earth Day -- which is their New Year. This is an un-edited copy of what was on the tape.]

. . . . . . . . . I believe that the great Magna Charta of our Christian faith is found in the Sermon on the Mount. (Matthew 5, 6, 7.) And the basic foundation for that statement is found in the Beatitudes. There is something extremely hopeful as we look at them.

We know today people are disillusioned. Everywhere I go I see cynicism, hopelessness. "Yes, of course it's all wrong, but there's nothing you can do."

The Beatitudes begin with "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." In the original that means, "Blessed are the broken-hearted for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Today there are a lot of broken-hearted people. Really, the whole world is broken-hearted. But it is important to recognize that it's in that state where people are willing to change, to see something new and different. These are the people to whom Jesus says, "Theirs is the kingdom of heaven."

I believe there is great hope today as we bring to the attention of the broken-hearted that they are the ones who can enter into the kingdom of heaven. By the "kingdom of heaven" I mean the rule and reign of divine love and wisdom. I mean by the kingdom of heaven a healthy peaceful planet.

As we look at this little gem that is set in the vast blackness of Space, we contemplate it and think of the marvelous planet we have inherited. People living here right now are making the decision of whether life on Earth shall survive, grow and blossom, or whether it will die. We are the first generation that without any question must take charge and take care of Earth.

Once we realize -- in our state of disillusionment, or sorrow, of being broken-hearted -- that there is a chance, then there is hope.

Out of this can come the manifestation of a glorious and wonderful kingdom for our whole planet. Then, of course, we must go on. We must take the next step. Jesus said, "Blessed are they that mourn for they shall be comforted. " In the original this means, "Blessed are they who are pressed to the Earth."

When you really go deep enough inside, you're going to feel a godly sorrow, not to be repented of. It's going to bring about a desire for a change.

That should be followed by the next step, "Blessed are the meek (not the weak, but Blessed are the meek) for they shall inherit the Earth." The beautiful thing about the Sermon on the Mount and the Beatitudes, it's the only way I know to be truly humble. The proudest people are those who are proud of their humility. There has to be a process that brings about true humility. The process is to recognize the Grace of God, to give up your life and let God remake it, renew it, regenerate it. Out of this can come real, true humility, because you realize that all the great things that are done through you are not you doing it but its God working through you.

The other thing about this is, '...they shall inherit the Earth." One of the great truths that has been neglected by the church and the world at large is that this Earth is the inheritance of the human family. The Psalms say, "The Earth hath He given to the children of men."

Of course, there is a sense in which "The Earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof." But nevertheless, there is a sense in which the human family -- those who assume their responsibilities -- they're caretakers and custodians of this planet. One of the most important facts for us to get hold of is that we must be responsible caretakers of Earth. This is our God-given task.

Earth is our inheritance. And when we say our inheritance we mean the inheritance of every man, women and child on this planet. It isn't the exclusive right of the few. It is the inheritance of every person.

Every person should have an opportunity for a stake in this Earth: for a piece of land, for the benefits of the soil, the trees and the bounty of Earth. At the same time he should recognize his responsibility to be a custodian, a caretaker -- to be a steward of this inheritance. So Jesus said, "Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the Earth."

I would carry that just a tiny bit further. The more we learn about biology and the biosphere, the more we realize how fragile is the thin skin of life that circles our globe. We cannot go slap bang into our new job -- build atomic plants, spread atomic waste. There are so many things that we have done where we failed to approach our task with a sense of wonder, care and cautiousness. If the benefits we are seeking for ourselves and the human family are going to be obtained without forever damaging the eco-systems -- the life giving network that covers our globe, we are going to have to approach each new phase of our responsibility with a great deal of care and caution. I believe that for this purpose we need the illumination of the mind of God in all that we do.

This brings me to the next step. And I would like to mention that each one must be taken before the next one can follow. Jesus said, "Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness."

Once you experience this poverty of spirit, this being broken-hearted and pressed to the ground, and have experienced a real sense of meekness, then, it's possible for you in a healthy manner to have your appetite come back: You're going to hunger, you're going to thirst. You're going to be a real seeker.

There are here and there, around the world, God-intoxicated people -- people who are intoxicated with the love of God and with the joy of life; who, the first thing in the morning when they get up, they enter into the presence of God with thanksgiving. They are so amazed at the Grace of God, the wonder of life and the love that is found all about us in other people, that it brings great ecstasy and joy. And, in their search to know more, to understand more, there is a deep heartfelt hunger. The hunger and the thirst is after righteousness. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness: after the right use of things, after that which reflects the goodness the glory and the love of God.

As people experience this hunger it's a true hunger. There is a superficial substitute which we think is desire. People think they want this, they want that, they want other things. And then they discover it isn't what they want at all. I guess one of the most deceitful lies of Satan is the appetite for superficial things -- momentary pleasures, desire to make more money, to have more power, the desire of lust. All of these superficial attractions are keeping individuals away from discovering their true heartdesire.

One of the great scriptures in the Bible is, "Whatsoever things you desire, when you pray believe that you receive them and you shall have them." The difficulty is, people don't understand what they desire. You think you desire something, but when you go deep enough inside your innermost being and discover your real desire, your most sincere desire, then you can know that your desire will be granted. It's impossible to understand your true desire without knowing that desire will be met.

So Jesus said, "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled." Every morning it's possible in your reflection, your feelings and your thought to feast upon the truth of God -- upon the promises and commandments of Jesus; to chew them, masticate them, think about them, meditate upon them, relate them to your life experiences. As you do, the innermost craving in your heart and spirit will be satisfied. "Blessed are they that hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled."

Now it's from this experience that man is lead into the next stage of development where Jesus says, "Blessed are the merciful." Before this if you tried to be merciful you would be self-righteous, you'd be condescending. We see a lot of pretense of mercy. But when you appreciate the mercy of God and have the awareness of the grace of God, then you can be truly merciful. And, of course, this is followed by the statement, "... for they shall obtain mercy."

If we really appreciate the significance of God's grace, of His forgiveness, and of how much damage we have done in our lives -- of all of the things that we have done out of selfishness with their unpredictable evil toll and that God has canceled the debt -- we are so grateful that we cannot condemn anyone else, regardless of what they do.

Then, "Blessed are the pure in Heart for they shall see God." Pure in heart means a whole heart. Jesus in that same Sermon on the Mount asks us to have our eye with single vision. We must not be guilty of double vision.

A whole heart is a heart where your purpose and your thinking is devoted to one thing, without anything pulling you aside. The guiding star in your life is to seek the kingdom of God, and you strive to love God with all your heart.

There is a scripture in the old testament that says, God is searching all over the world " show His strength on behalf of him whose heart is perfect toward Him." A Perfect heart; a heart of love, an undivided heart, a whole heart, an honest heart is what God is seeking. Jesus said that when you have reached the point where you can be pure of heart -- and this is a continuing isn't something you achieve and then let it go. The impurities of the world are constantly cluttering up and staining our heart and our feelings and there must be a continual process of cleansing, that is available through the grace of God -- the marvelous thing is, "The pure of heart will see God."

There are things that are unreal in the world today to the majority of people. We have a civilization where the majority of people are blind. And Jesus talked about the blindness of people. They don't see the most important things there are in life.

Think about Pearl Harbor: When that happened the world had something visual that enabled people in a moment to have a great surge of feeling. There was "Pearl Harbor" and then everyone, or at least the majority of Americans, got behind the flag and made all kinds of sacrifices. They were willing to leave their jobs, leave their homes, give up their salary and go to work for a pittance, risk their lives in order to save their country.

Today, we are in a situation far worse than Pearl Harbor. And it's not just our nation -- it's the whole planet. But it is not real. Pearl Harbor was real.

People are blind to the fact that we face today something far worse than Pearl Harbor. Our great difficulty here is to see the reality that is not obvious to the natural eye. The natural eye does not understand the really important things.

The greatest benefit that can come to an individual is when with the mind's eye he sees the realities of the spirit. "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God -- He becomes very real to them. It's such a source of faith when you get up in the morning and you feel that in your mind's eye -- you've caught a glimpse of God!

I know in my own life I was trained in a strange way to be scientific. I realize there are profound mysteries that go beyond what we see in the physical world. There are mysteries of the mind and spirit and feeling. Right now we are so inter-connected globally -- both by electronic communications and in our consciousness. We are one global organism in the world of mind and thought. We're all connected with one another.

We're all connected with the guilt of the world. And we're beginning to realize that more and more. We have no right to be self-righteous and say we are the most moral nation in the world. Let's look at the balance sheet for a moment.

If you look at the positive things...if you listen to Charles Kuralt talking about the warm, wonderful things in America, it's great! We are more independent in our thinking, more open, we have more political freedom.. In the scientific and voluntary activities in the United States in many ways we exceed what is done in all the rest of the world.

Let's look at the other side of the balance sheet. We have caused more pollution than any nation in history. The air, the water are poisoned by the acts of the people of the United States of America. We speak with great self-righteousness in condemning Iman Khomeini for holding 50 hostages and we are appalled at a nation that assassinates 50 or 60 people -- which is terrible. I do not mean to condone them for one moment. But in the day that one nation executes 60 people, we kill a hundred by our drunken drivers. And on television we don't show the mangled bodies, the crying children and the weeping widows, we just treat this as a passing statistic.

Look at the billions of dollars that are made illegitimately by our money brokers. One of the great tragedies in basing our whole operation on greed and selfishness is that it becomes acceptable to deprive other people of money without rendering any useful service. When a man corners the silver market and makes a billion dollars, a billion dollars has been removed from the pockets of hard working people. He's rendered no useful service. In any court of the moral law it must be recognized that this is a kind of stealing.

So, we reward those who steal and through inflation we rob those who work, and who render useful service. From Hiroshima to Love Canal this country is guilty of some of the most awesome crimes in the history of the world.

At the same time I want to come back and say that on the other side of the ledger this nation has done tremendous things to cultivate a love of freedom, democracy and many other things that have benefited the whole human race.

But, I believe that if you put it on balance, like the writing on the wall in the Old Testament, we are weigher in the balance and found wanting.

The reason for this is that we have forsaken the moral law. we do not any longer think in terms of good and evil. In the Old Testament a prophecy about Jesus stated, "Butter and honey shall he eat that he may know to choose the good and refuse the evil." Through the Old Testament butter and honey signified the promises and commandments of God. So to that individual who determines in his life to steer this difficult course, God promises His presence, Grace and power.

"Enter into the strait [difficult] gate for strait is the gate and narrow the way that leadeth to life and few there be that go therein. Broad is the way that leadeth to destruction." We've been following the broad way where there is no right or wrong. There is no hero. There is no heroic epic. There are no great roots in our souls. We've lost the guiding star.

Therefore, our society is permeated with corruption from top to bottom. The redemption of society is now impossible --except for the Grace of God. But the wonder of it is that Jesus said, "Blessed are the broken hearted for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven."

The mysteries of the birth of Jesus, of who he was, are beyond the province of science. Our knowledge of natural science and biology would make the virgin birth seem impossible. But in dealing with the great mysteries of mind that transcend matter, faith helps our search for meaning. In scientific research the most beautiful hypothesis always proves to be the right one.

In the drama of human history nothing is more beautiful than the Christmas story. I am convinced that there was a man that lived whose name was Jesus. Historically, there is overwhelming evidence of that. I know that what he said and did and taught that was recorded by his followers is so great, this man I would follow to the ends of the Earth.
John McConnell
Phone: 303/758-7687


Permanent Mission of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations No. 154

March 20, 1998

Statement by

H.E. Hadi Nejad- Hosseinian,
Ambassador and Permanent Representative of the Islamic Republic of Iran on Earth Day ceremony at the United Nations Headquarters

Dear friends and earth trustees, It is a pleasure for me, as a new comer to the United Nations, to be part of this Earth Day- 1998 Celebration. This celebration focusing on prayer for peace and prosperity for all and the care of earth by all irrespective of national boundaries, race or creed has been observed in Iran and the greater region surrounding it since the time immemorial.

At this very moment peoples of Iran and many other nations are celebrating "Noruz", the "New Day", the first day of spring and the new year in Iranian calender; they renew their pledge to earth, its god-given bounty and harmony, and to each other in a solemn and deeply personal way to set aside differences and pray for peace on our only earth. Let us hope and pray that from this "New Day" forward, we, as individuals and as groups, undertake to plan for the care of the earth, restoration of harmony on our planet, and for the care of our fellow citizens on earth aiming for justice, peace and prosperity for all.


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