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Blogs / People

Jesus Christ, (Capitol Hill) Superstar

June 20, 2012
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Jesus came to the Capitol on Tuesday. He'll be here on Thursday, too.

But the second coming this was not. Actually, it was more like the 7,800th coming -- give or take a few appearances -- of this particular Christ, a mannequin decked out in first-century-AD threads.

Rita Warren, an 83-year-old pro-prayer-in-schools, pro-First Amendment activist -- "We the people" are the government, she told a reporter -- transports the simulacrum of the savior to the Capitol on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

To staffers, lawmakers, and frequent visitors, Warren's face is a familiar one. She's been bringing the statue to the Capitol for three decades, Monday through Friday at first. Now, just two days a week. Construction at the Capitol Visitors Center had limited her to visiting one day a week. She's back now, though, to her twice-weekly pilgrimage.

When the Supreme Court releases its opinion on the 2010 health care law, Warren will transport the figure to the front of the Supreme Court. Not because she cares very much which way the court might rule, but because of "We the People," she said.

Warren, who when asked about the Italian flags on her lapel and the tricolor beside Old Glory, says she's originally from "Napoli" and hands out a photo copy of a portrait titled "The First Prayer in Congress."

"Mine is a mission of faith," she said, after adjusting a sheer white shawl over the head of the statue.

Photo: Mike Catalini

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