3 Degrees Church Shuts Down Minneapolis Strip Club
The city of Minneapolis, like many cities in the United States, has a problem with strip clubs. In some ways, it runs contrary to the the city’s own reputation. Containing one of the largest LGBT populations in the US, Minneapolis is considered by some to be quite the progressive city. Openly gay politicians, gay wedding ceremonies, and many other inclusive events help define the city’s culture. So really, a strip club in a city that so tightly controls where they can even operate shouldn’t be much of a problem. But according to 3 Degrees, a “church” in the Warehouse District, there is a problem.
According to local ordinances, a strip club or other “adult” businesses from opening with 500 feet of religious institutions. Now, jokes aside about “devout” super heroes in our political system and religious institutions, it’s honestly understandable why a strip club is probably not the best neighbor for a church. Aside from obviously capturing the attention of people who know where the real party is, we should strive to respect the needs of these businesses. Even if they don’t always want to respect the needs or rights of others themselves.
What 3 Degrees Church did was open in the Warehouse District of Minneapolis. One of the few areas in the city where a strip club is really allowed to operate. In 2003, the “church” requested a permit to extend its hours late into the night, becoming for all intents and purposes a nightclub. And that is why what happened this month is bullshit.
3 Degrees Of Seperation Between Church and Night Club
In 2006, 3 Degrees tried to halt a strip club from opening up within 500 feet of its location. It failed. This may or may not have inspired the the 3 Degrees “church” to “abandon” its for-profit night club business, which one of its pastors claim happened back in 2008.
Earlier this month, another strip club was looking to open up near the club, and was initially approved. But 3 Degrees immediately appealed the decision, claiming that they were now a for real church “no seriously you guys” and therefore no kiss kiss no bang bang anywhere nearby.
The Minneapolis Zoning and Planning Committee ultimately agreed that 3 Degrees can call itself a church because more or less it said so. In turn, this opens a fairly substantial can of worms. Any sufficiently zealous person of the cloth could, conceivably, declare a space they are renting in the Warehouse District a church. In turn, any adult-oriented business may face a legal battle to stay open, much less start a new location.
3 Degrees is just part of an ongoing trend
In a country where we freak out over men and women having c-c-c-consensual s-s-sex, this sort of attack on strip clubs is really nothing new. And that’s not to say there AREN’T good reasons for law enforcement or a city to regulate on a club. But sometimes you have moralistic crusaders who think they have a mandate from above to “protect” people. But rather than being open about it, they play the rules-lawyer game until someone hands them the win. And failing that, they change the game as much as possible until they eventually DO win.
And honestly, for a week supposedly dedicated to loving thy neighbor and forgiving shit, this doesn’t look or feel very loving or understanding at all. What it does look like, what it actually is, is people throwing the book at a problem they want to be rid of, and getting away with it.