Again, I'm running late with the big story, having been busy with work all last week, then sick all weekend. But Sen McGlinn has been disenrolled for "statements" he has "published", as well as the usual "behavior and attitude" charge that regularly reappears in UHJ disenrollment letters. Sen has responded by submitting another declaration card and attempting to re-enroll.
Baha'i fundamentalists are responding by either saying that it's none of our business, that Sen must have done something more wrong that what's apparent, or to actually enumerate his supposed sins. The letter from the Secretariat about his book, that I posted previously only, as Sen reminds folks, mentions the introduction of his book, where he calls himself a "Baha'i theologian" implying that this is the key issue. However, I find it hard to believe that the actual content of his book isn't at issue as well.
While you're sifting through these events, it might be a good idea to actually read
*Chuch and State: A Postmodern Political Theology*. My own copy's on order. There have been fears expressed that Kalimat Press will be next on the hit list, or that some action has already been taken against them, but I have not yet heard anything solid.
Juan Cole has made a rare venture into his old stomping-ground, Baha'i cyberspace, in order to comment. Alison, besides putting up Juan's post has also commented in her weblog. Baquia at Baha'i Rants has also commented.
The key issue, the one which ties all the disenrollments together, is lack of belief in UHJ infallibility where doctrine is concerned. Sen's book flies in the face of the interpretation of a body that openly says it has no scriptural authority to interpret, yet it insists on things that it calls "fundamentals" -- which now appears to include a belief that separation of church and state are depicted in a negative light in the Baha'i teachings. Juan's analysis, especially, pointed up this shift from a rather freewheeling enthusiastic religious group, as many experienced it in the early 70s, to one concerned with proper doctrine. Of course, the Baha'i Faith has experienced such shifts before, as in the late teens in the American Baha'i community. And, as in the earlier shift, it is accompanied by stagnant growth, disillusionment, and a shake-out of those who joined the Baha'i Faith believing it was an escape from the rigidity of older traditions.