Sherman Ave Freshman Guide: The Baha'i Temple
Chances are, by now you've been introduced in some way or another to Northwestern's campus. You know that there's a building called Tech where sad people spend their lives, and that there's a large and very cold body of water to the east that shrinks even the erectest of dongaloos. You know that there's a library that looks like it's from Hogwarts (source: approximately 500,000 motherfucking Instagrams) and a little mini-lake next to the large lake that doesn't make a whole lot of goddamn sense but we all just kind of live with it.
But what you might not know is that about a mile north of campus, you can find one of the North Shore's greatest treasures: The Baha'i Temple. Exotic, right? Well you're sure to have a number of questions about this temple, and we're happy to answer them for you.
How the shit do you pronounce Baha'i?
Buh-hi! Not buh-hay. But if you put undue emphasis on the "hay," like "Buh-HAAAYYYYY" it will be kind of funny, albeit still entirely incorrect.
What is the Baha'i faith?
Baha'i is a relatively modern religion, combining elements and values of Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and Normcore. The cornerstones of the Baha'i faith are unity, peace, and again, normcore.
What does the Baha'i Temple look like?
Well, it's a temple. It's white. It has a huge dome thing on the top. And it's surrounded by lots of carefully tended gardens. You know what, maybe you should just look at a picture.
I just looked at that picture, and it's a baby possum.
I can answer your questions, but I can't give you an answer if you're just spewing comments at me. Come on. I'm happy to help you, but you've got to meet me halfway.
Um, okay. Who follows the Baha'i religion?
Baha'i has adherents from all over the world, but it's mostly sorority girls who like jogging that follow the Baha'i religion.
That's very bizarre. How do they practice their Baha'i faith?
They make pilgrimages to the Baha'i temple about three times a week. The most conservative followers of Baha'i jog all the way to the temple and back, but most do a mixture of jogging and walking. Some just walk the whole goddamn way.
Why do they do that? What's the point?
They just bought a bunch of new stuff at Lululemon and need to use it.
Okay, then what do they do when they get there? What are Baha'i services like?
Services? You mean like...a religious service?
Yeah, with a sermon and hymns and shit. Is it like that?
Oh, maybe. I don't know, they don't actually attend the religious services, they just make the pilgrimage and then call and ask a friend to come pick them up because they don't want to walk back.
I heard there's a decorative swastika on the Baha'i Temple. Is that true?
Yes. Adolf Hitler directly oversaw the construction of the temple and demanded that there be a decorative swastika.
No, don't be a fucking moron. It's an old Buddhist symbol. Christ. Have you literally never been to PF Chang's?
No, I haven't. Are there other Baha'i Temples?
Yes, there are six others in the world. One on every continent.
Yes. They built one on Antarctica before human beings settled it.
Are you just being a dick now?
Yes. There's no Baha'i Temple on Antarctica.
Okay, whatever. So as someone with no spiritual affiliation with the Baha'i religion, how can I connect with the culture?
Do you have an Instagram?
Yes, of course.
That's all you need.
Do you have any more questions?
I mean, yes, lots. But I'm not going to ask anymore.
Great. This was fun.