* Religious activist
* Had an affinity for the Soviet Union
* Died on January 3, 2021
Born on October 1, 1930 in Knoxville, Tennessee, Rev. Dr. George F. Regas was the retired Rector Emeritus of All Saints Church in Pasadena, California. A consistently harsh critic of American foreign and domestic policies throughout his three decades at the parish, Regas frequently peppered his sermons with denunciations of the U.S-led wars in Vietnam and Iraq.
In the 1980s and early 1990s, Regas was well known in Southern California for his opposition to Reagan-Bush policies. At that time, his church had a club called “Friends of the Soviet Union.” After the people of the USSR overthrew communism, the group was re-christened “Friends of the Former Soviet Union.”
He was the Executive Director of the Regas Institute, which is “dedicated to the study and examination of Progressive Religion” and “seek[s] to be a counter-balance to the dominance of the Religious Right in the public arena.”
In 2001, Regas collaborated with People For the American Way to establish the Progressive Religious Partnership (PRP), an interfaith coalition that sees “an urgent need to strengthen and rally a progressive religious voice that is organized to speak to both economic [and] racial justice, to deal with gender equality, justice for Gay and Lesbian persons, and for reproductive choice.” In addition, the PRP states that it is “actively organizing a progressive religious movement for peace and seeking to open a secure space for public debate on the War on Terrorism.” Among the PRP’s chief complaints is that the Bush administration’s post-9/11 measures to thwart future terrorist attacks constitute an unnecessary assault on civil liberties. Thus the PRP issued a 2002 “report card” for President Bush, giving him a “D” in civil liberties.
Regas strongly opposed the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq. At a September 10, 2002 event in Los Angeles titled “A Gathering for Civil Liberties and Peaceful Tomorrows,” Regas said, “God save us from another war in Iraq with all its slaughter of women and children. But God’s only hands and voice are yours and mine. Join us. For all that is sacred, we must stop a war on Iraq.” He further told the crowd, “We disavow the path that affirms that grief must lead to war. We refuse to accept violence as the necessary consequence of our tragic [9/11] loss. . . . It is not appropriate [for President Bush] to call for vengeance [and] to call for more suppression of our civil liberties [and] to call for more unconstitutional practices.” This rally was sponsored by the anti-war group September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows.
Regas died on January 3, 2021.