President Reagan, in an Easter message to the nation, called on Americans today "to live our lives and dedicate our country to truth, to love and to God."
Reagan, speaking from his mountaintop ranch, said in his weekly radio broadcast that religious faith binds the people of the world despite attempts by some to make the state the omniscient power in human life.
"The brave Polish people, despite the oppression of a godless tyranny, still cling to their faith and their belief in freedom," Reagan said.
"In Central America communist-inspired revolution still spreads terror and instability but it's no match for the much greater force of faith that runs so deep among the people. We saw this during Pope John Paul II's recent visit there," he said.
Reagan also told of an East German professor taking his family on a dangerous trip across the Baltic Sea to West Germany to "escape from tyranny."
In contrast to those stories of "godless" communism, the president told listeners of how on Ash Wednesday the crew of an American ship gave money and aid to rebuild an Australian town ravaged by brush fires.
"Stories like these," he said, "of men and women around the world who love God and freedom become a message of hope and brotherhood like the rites of Passover and Easter that we celebrate this weekend."
The president said grade school students had written him to ask if he believes they will be able to live in a world without war. He responded: "Well I do. I really do. Nearly 2,000 years after the coming of the Prince of Peace, such simple wishes may still seem far from fulfillment. But we can achieve them. We must never stop trying.
". . . If we live our lives and dedicate our country to truth, to love and to God, we will be a part of something much stronger and much more enduring than any negative power here on Earth," he said.
Massachusetts' junior senator, Paul E. Tsongas, gave the Democratic response to Reagan's radio talk. He said the spirit of the Easter season was being overshadowed by the dangers of a continuing U.S.-Soviet nuclear arms race.
He accused Reagan of using "Cold War rhetoric" to convince Americans of the need for a military buildup and to oppose the grass-roots nuclear freeze movement.