Nuns from a suburban Chicago convent have filed a lawsuit against a strip club located next door to them. The reason for the lawsuit, according to the Sisters, is that the loud music from the club bothers the nuns while they are praying.
The lawsuit, filed on Friday at the Cook County Circuit Court by The Sisters of St. Charles against the Allure Chicago club, claims that the club violated Illinois zoning laws, which call for a 1,000-foot buffer zone between adult entertainment establishments and places of worship.
The convent comprises three chapels where the Sisters pray but the strip club, which opened in neighboring Stone Park last September, is causing the nuns no end of grief.
According to the nuns suing the strip club, the Sisters have been subjected, more than once to:
“Public violence, drunkenness and litter, including. empty whiskey and beer bottles, discarded contraceptive packages and products and even used condoms, pulsating and rhythmic staccato-beat noise and flashing neon and or strobe lights” that disturb the nuns.”
Sister Noemia Silva told the Chicago Sun-Times, “Our sisters’ sacred space has been invaded. At night now they hear the music when they’re praying. That’s uncalled for.”
Attorney Peter Breen, of the Thomas More Society, a Chicago-based public interest law firm representing nuns, said that they have the right to pray peacefully and without interference.
But the club’s representatives have said that the lawsuit is nothing more than a case of prejudice on behalf of the nuns. Club Allure manager Robert Itzkow told WMAQ-TV:
“We spent an awful lot of money to make sure that this kind of thing would not occur. The whole thing is just a question of ‘we don’t like you; you don’t conform to our religious beliefs.'”
It remains to be seen what the result of the nun’s lawsuit against the strip club will be, as the courts prepare for what could be a benchmark ruling in the state.