Controversy Erupts As Chicago Nuns File Lawsuit Against Neighborhood Strip Club

Controversy is brewing in the suburban Chicago village of Stone Park after a group of nuns, with the support of a local community group, have decided to file a lawsuit against a strip club that had come up in their neighborhood last September. Stone Park village, which houses the convent where nuns from The Sisters of St. Charles stay, also houses three chapels inside that perimeter, according to Nola. And not far from there is the strip club in the news now.

According to the lawsuit filed in the Cook County Circuit Court, the nuns claim that the strip club named Club Allure violates Illinois zoning laws which states that there should be at least 1000 feet buffer between places of worship and adult entertainment facilities. They also claim that the throbbing music from the strip club does not allow the nuns to pray in peace.

The lawsuit alleges that The Sisters of St. Charles have had to put up with;

“public violence, drunkenness and litter, including … empty whiskey and beer bottles, discarded contraceptive packages and products and even used condoms evidencing illicit sexual misbehavior either in the club or about its environs.”

The Sister’s of St. Charles have found support from the Thomas More Society, which was the organization that filed the suit. According to Peter Breen, the vice president and senior counsel for the Thomas More society, the sisters have a right to pray and work peacefully without disruption from a strip club in their backyard. Sister Noemia Silva, a resident of the convent says she was appalled at the fact that the strip club was allowed to come up there in the first place. She goes on to add,

“Our sisters’ sacred space has been invaded. At night now they hear the music when they’re praying. That’s uncalled for. You look at the children who go to school in the area, they have to pass through here in front of the convent and there’s whiskey bottles and what have you broken.”

The attorney for Stone Park Village, Dean Krone claims that he believes the the decision to file the lawsuit was correct and that the village has acted legally and reasonably against the strip club.

In its defense, the manager-owner of the strip club, Robert Itzkow told Fox News that the lawsuit asking for a ban was uncalled for. He says that the club had spent an “awful lot of money” to avoid any incidents of this nature. Robert adds,

“While the Bible says, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself,’ the nuns are not being very neighborly.”

Robert also says that it could be a sign of religious nonacceptance of a strip club in their neighborhood – by the people of the area. “The whole thing is just a question of ‘we don’t like you; you don’t conform to our religious beliefs.'”, he said.

Robert also wanted to remind that the club’s dancers aren’t monsters. Each one of them is either a daughter or a mother. Many of the employees are catholic as well.

Who do you think is taking the correct stance in this case? The Nuns or the strip cub?

[Image via Wikimedia Commons]

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