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Strippers vs. Sisters

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The strippers in Chicago have recently met their worst enemy: the sisters.

This is because The Sisters of Saint Charles, a convent of nuns in Chicago, Illinois, has filed a lawsuit against a nearby strip club named Allure Gentlemen’s Club. The nuns allege that the club violates city ordinances, is too noisy with its throbbing music, litters the neighborhood with used condoms, and overall just plain disrupts their life of cloistered prayer.

The Sisters of Saint Charles filed their lawsuit in Cook County Circuit Court last week. They believe that Club Allure also violates Illinois zoning laws, which require a 1,000-foot buffer between adult entertainment facilities and places of worship. "Our sisters' sacred space has been invaded," said Sister Noemia Silva told to the Chicago Tribune. "At night now they hear the music when they're praying. That's uncalled for." The lawsuit specifically mentions "pulsating and rhythmic staccato-beat noise and flashing neon and or strobe lights" that occurs routinely while the sisters try to pray.

The nuns aren't alone in their complaints either: the village of Melrose Park and three of its residents recently joined the nuns in the lawsuit. Attorney Peter Breen of the Thomas More Society (a Chicago-based public interest law firm representing the convent) argues that the nuns have a right to pray and work peacefully without interference. Among the problems, he says the nuns have witnessed "public violence, drunkenness and litter, including empty whiskey and beer bottles.”

In any case, Club Allure isn't taking the suit laying down. The club, located in the neighboring village of Stone Park, have responded by saying they aren't a nuisance to the nuns and the lawsuit's claims aren't backed up by police reports. Stone Park Village Attorney Dean Krone has also added that the village has acted legally and reasonably when dealing with the strip club. Club Allure manager Robert Itzkow was quoted as saying "We spent an awful lot of money to make sure that this kind of thing would not occur." He added: "The whole thing is just a question of 'we don't like you; you don't conform to our religious beliefs'.” He said the strippers at the club act professionally and “aren't monsters. They're daughters; they're mothers, and some of them are Catholics too."

So at this point, it looks like Cook County Circuit Court will have the final say in the matter. I am not from the Stone Park area so I'll avoid weighing in on the matter for now. What is your opinion, my faithful readers? Who's right – the strippers or the sisters?