Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Women: Be Silent And Subservient

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was 1 Timothy 2:8-15:

Today we continue looking at some of the difficult passages we find in scripture as they relate to women.  Last week we heard from 1 Corinthians that women should be silent in church, and I said that many scholars do not believe that passage was original to the letter, but instead think it came in as a margin notation based on the passage we just heard from 1 Timothy.  Just as a brief summary, scholars don’t think it’s original first because it doesn’t match what says about women, and their participation in church, in other parts of 1 Corinthians.  Second because it is not consistently found in the same places in the manuscripts we have giving some indication that the scribes were unsure where it properly belonged, which leads to the third point that the section of chapter 14 in which it is found is actually easier to read if it is removed because it interrupts what Paul is talking about otherwise.
So that leads us into today’s passage, of which there is no doubt is original to this letter.  Now where the doubt lies is whether Paul wrote 1 Timothy or not.  Although the letter says it is written by Paul, the vast majority of scholars do not believe it is written by Paul, and when I say the vast majority I’m talking close to 90.  Instead, this is a pseudepigraphical work, that is a work written by someone else in Paul’s name.  We have lots of different pseudepigraphical works as this was fairly common in the ancient world.  The main part of this is really a defense of Paul to say that I don’t think Paul ever said that women should be silent in church.  But even if Paul didn’t say it, it is still there, so how do we approach these passages?

The easiest thing to do would be to say that we are going to ignore it, pretend as if it doesn’t exist and go on to something else.  And the simple truth is we all do that all the time, we even do it with these passages.  So for example, the vast majority of churches that want to argue that women should be silent, and certainly should never be ordained, don’t require that women cover their heads when they come into church, as required by the rules Paul does stipulate in 1 Corinthians.  Nor do they stop women at the door of the church and tell them they can’t come in, because their hair is braided or they are wearing gold, pearls or expensive clothing.  So why is it that we ignore the rules that come right before choose not to ignore the one that comes after?  Is it because we often come to scripture looking for things we can use to justify our own biases while ignoring those that don’t?  And I’m not attacking a particular group, because all of us do exactly the same thing.  We all pick and choose what parts of scripture we want to follow, or force others to follow, and which we’re going to ignore or explain away to make our own point.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Women: No Talkin' In Church

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was 1 Corinthians 14:33b-36:

Today is one of those days in which saying after the scripture reading is done, “this is the word of God,” leaves many people a little bit queasy.  This is one of the passages we find in the Bible with which many in the church don’t want to have to deal or even admit is there.  So, for example, this passage is not included in the lectionary, which are the recommended readings for each Sunday of the year.  But we don’t have to go very far in order to to find churches that still use this, and other passages to justify women not only leadership positions in the church but most especially ordination.

The girls and I were recently at the famous Irish restaurant McDonalds, and the guy at the next booth was talking on his phone with someone about the terrible decision that the church was considering at their next general church gathering, about the possibility of allowing women to be ordained.  And to this gentleman not only was this an abomination, but it was the work of Lucifer himself to try and bring down the church.  Now based on what he was saying I was able to find out that he was a member of the 7th day Adventists, and the great irony is that the 7th day Adventists was cofounded by a woman.  So although we don’t talk about these passages much, if at all, in the mainline churches, we ignore them and others like them at our own peril, and at the peril of the greater church.

Now today’s sermon is going to be a little different than what I normally try to do which is to try and make the scripture applicable, so that we might learn something from it and live that out in our lives.  I know that I do not always accomplish that goal, but that is what I at least try to do most of the time.  I’m not going to do that today, so if you want to hear some good illustrations, be uplifted and look at how to apply the scripture to your life, please come back next week, because today I am going to try and unpack this passage, to provide some background and some perspective on this passage, and then next week we’ll look at possible interpretations and how we can learn from these passages.  A good place to start is with the simple understand that there are some things in scripture with which we are going to disagree, and to recognize the lens through which we read scripture has as much to do with our understanding of scripture as the words on the page do.  So, for example, if we were to read the passages found in scripture that relate to slavery, we read them very differently today than we did just two hundred years ago. Our understanding and interpretation of those passages, and the lens through which we read them, has changed radically in the last few centuries.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

I Believe, Help My Unbelief

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was Mark 16:1-8:

When the bracket came out for the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament, better known as March Madness, after a 64 year hiatus, my Harvard Crimson were making the tournament for the fourth time in a row.  But their first game was going to be against the University of North Carolina.  While Carolina is not the team this year that they have been in the past, they were still a superior team to Harvard.  The not only played tougher competition, but they had all around better players.  And so when I went to fill out my bracket, did I pick Harvard?  No, I chose North Carolina.  It was sort of easy pick, and yet it wasn’t.  Because it’s not like Harvard hasn’t won in the tournament before.  In fact, they had won their first round games the last two years including beating a heavily favored and much better New Mexico team in 2013.  But I still picked North Carolina.  I did believe that Harvard stood a chance, but I didn’t actually believe it enough to pick them, or I might say I said I believed, but I wasn’t willing to actually live that belief out in my life.  And so as the game began, I wrote on facebook “I believe that Harvard can win this, help my unbelief.”  And then Harvard came as close as a last second three point shot, which would have won the game, clanked off the back of the rim.  “I believe, help my unbelief.”

That quote comes from a healing story we find in the gospel of Mark.  A young boy has epilepsy, although it’s not called that in the passage, and the boy’s father asks Jesus to help the boy, if Jesus is able.  And Jesus responds, “If you are able! – all things can be done for the one who believes,” and the father immediately cries out, “I believe, help my unbelief.”  That is he believes it in his heart, but not in his head, or perhaps that’s reversed, he believes it with his head but not his heart, and so there is that modicum of doubt there, that piece of unbelief.  He knows that 9 times out of 10, North Carolina is going to beat Harvard on the hardwood, but he’s hoping for that one upset, that one miracle to occur, but while he’s hoping for that miracle, he’s not really ready to bet anything on it.  He wants desperately to believe, to act as if it is true, and yet he hesitates.  We can see the same thing happening with the disciples and with the women who go to the tomb.

Saturday, April 4, 2015

Bread and Stones

Here is my sermon from Maundy Thursday.  The text was John 13:31-35:

In her autobiography, Wait Till Next Year, Doris Kearns Goodwin recounts how growing up in Brooklyn in the 1950’s she and her friends acted out the hearings being conducted by Senator Joe McCarthy.  “We had begun by transforming our living rooms into a counterpart of the Senate chamber,” she said.  “We set up a table facing a single chair in the middle of the room.  The person designated as the accused sat in the chair while the rest of us asked questions and made charges from behind the table.  As our accused fidgeted uneasily on the stand, we grew increasingly hostile, interrupting explanations with points of order, claiming we had documents and proof to back up our accusations.  We shouted and argued just as we had seen the counsel do on television,” she said.

“Day after day we played this treacherous game, even though one of us usually ended up running from the room in tears.  We accused one another of being poor sports, of cheating at games.  We exposed statements of the ‘accused’ which denigrated others.  Marilyn… accused Elaine of saying that the new girl on the block, Natalie, was fat; Elaine accused Marilyn of saying that Eileen was a crybaby…  Eddie accused Eileen of complaining that Elaine was too bossy.  Often these charges were true.  We did, indeed, talk behind one another’s backs, but we had never imagined that our slurring words, bad mouthed comments, and hurtful language would be made known to others….

“As the games progressed, they became even more vicious and mean-spirited.  Marilyn said she knew the truth about my family, that my real mother had died when I was born, and that my mother was really my grandmother.  Stung by the attack, I lashed back: ‘How can you say such a thing?  Your name isn’t even Greene.  It’s Greenberg.  You’re the one who’s hiding things, not me.’

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Foot Washing, The Golden Rule and "Religious Freedom"

In just a few hours, many churches, ours included, will gather together for Maundy Thursday services.  Most scholars are in agreement that the name Maundy comes from the Latin word for commandment, “Mandatum”, which comes from the traditional reading from John for this service in which Jesus says that he is giving the disciples a new commandment, that they love one another just as he has loved them.

A commandment, by definition, is a divine rule that is to be strictly observed.  It is not something that people get to choose whether they are going to follow or not.   While we as Christians might, and do, argue about which of the rules from scripture that we are supposed to follow, I don’t think this one is really negotiable for two reasons.  The first is because it comes from Jesus, and the second, directly related, is that Jesus also tells us it is a commandment.

But then the hard part becomes how do we live out this commandment, and that’s where the practices of Maundy Thursday worship come into play.  The first is that of foot washing, which is recounted in the same passage from John just before he gives this commandment.   Jesus gets down and washes the disciples feet, taking on the lowliest of tasks left to the lowliest of servants.  Jesus is living out this commandment long before he gives it to the disciples.  They can’t really ask Jesus what this commandment looks like because he has just demonstrated it to them.

The second part of most Maundy Thursday services is the celebration of Holy Communion, which is what we find instituted on the last night in the synoptic gospels (Matthew, Mark and Luke).  There is something radical about eating a meal with another person and table hospitality, because in sharing a meal you open yourself up ways that other things do not.  And who you dine with says a lot about you.  Indeed one of the things Jesus is routinely criticized for is not just the fact that he associates with tax collectors, prostitutes and sinners, but that he has the temerity and indecency to dine with them.  Table fellowship says a lot.

Friday, March 27, 2015

A Servant

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was John 12:20-26:

Today we conclude our series looking at the spiritual disciplines by looking at the discipline of service.  I’ve opened up the other sermons in this series with a joke, but I’m not doing that today not because I think this topic is more serious, but instead for the simple reality that I couldn’t find a good joke to use, as all the jokes I could find had to do with worship services, but that’s not the service we’re talking about here.  The service we are talking about is about reaching out to others, and yet it’s about so much more than that as well.  As part of today’s service we are going to be receiving new members into the church, and that involves vowing to support the church with our prayers, presence, gifts, service and witness.  None of those things are independent of each other, and all of them go back of course to the earliest days of Methodism.
Methodism began at Oxford University when Charles Wesley, who was a student there, asked his brother John, who was an Anglican priest and also an Oxford Don, which is a fancy English word for professor, to come and help he and his friends deepen their faith lives and spiritual practices.  And so together they formed what came to be known as the holiness club, and they gathered together several times a day to pray and read scripture, and they fasted twice a day, and they asked each other how it was with their soul to have mutual accountability for their lives and what they were doing.  But one of the members, William Morgan, said this wasn’t enough, and persuaded John and Charles to visit one of the prisons in London, which they did, and continued to do so, and so a faith lived out became one of the key characteristics of Methodism.  Indeed, John Wesley was always much more concerned about orthopraxy, that is right action, over that of orthodoxy, right belief, a tradition which carries on today, with some of the most famous organizations helping people in need, like the Salvation Army and Goodwill, originating in the Methodist church.

Monday, March 16, 2015

We Had To Celebrate

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was Luke 15:11-32:

On the day that Pope John Paul II died, he was greeted at the Pearly Gates by St. Peter, and is told that he has complete access to heaven and can go anywhere anytime that he likes, but first that God would like to meet him.  John Paul said he would love to do that, but wanted to know if heaven had a library.  Peter said, “Well of course,” and John Paul said “well there is something that I have been puzzling over for a long time and could never find a satisfactory answer in the Vatican’s archives, and so I wonder, before I go a meet God, could I go to the library first?” “Of course,” St. Peter replies, and so they head off to the library.  The Pope spends two years in solitary research, never coming out, never interacting with anyone else, and then one day, people hear a cry of anguish coming from one of the study tables.  When people rush over they find the Pope there, with a large book in front of him pointing to one line and crying out “there’s an r! There’s an r!  Look, there’s an r.  It says is celebrate not celibate!”

Today we continue in our series on the spiritual disciplines by looking at the discipline of celebration.  The two words, discipline and celebration, don’t really seem like they go together, after all that appears why some people aren’t having a lot of fun, or celebrating much, because they are being disciplined.  But celebration is a discipline because it is something we have to decision about; we have to choose to be joyful and to choose to celebrate.  In Richard Foster’s book, Celebration of Discipline, he has celebration as the last item that he talks about because he says that all of the other disciplines put us in such relationship with God that they lead us directly to the practice of celebration, of making a joyful noise to the Lord as Psalm 98 and 100 both say.  And so as I was putting together this series, I originally had celebration as the last topic, which would then lead us into the celebration at the beginning of the service for Palm Sunday.  But today, the fourth Sunday of Lent, has some significance in the tradition and history of the church.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Whatever You Ask For In Prayer

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was Mark 11:22-25:

A Pastor had a kitten that climbed up a tree in his backyard and was afraid to come down. The Pastor coaxed, offered warm milk, etc.  nothing worked---the kitty wouldn't come down. The tree was not sturdy enough to climb, so the Pastor decided that if he tied a rope to his car and drove away so that the tree bent down, he could reach up and get the kitten. That's what he did, all the while checking the progress of his car. He then figured if he went just a bit further, the tree would be bent sufficiently for him to reach the kitten. But, as he moved the car forward, the rope broke. The tree went "boing!!!" and the kitten instantly sailed through the air---out of sight. The Pastor felt terrible. He walked all over the neighborhood asking people if they'd seen a little kitten. No. Nobody had seen a stray kitten. So he prayed, "Lord, I just commit this kitten to your keeping," then went about his business.  Later that day he was at the grocery store and met one of his church members. He happened to look in her shopping cart and was amazed to see cat food. This woman was a cat hater and everyone knew it so he asked her, "Why are you buying cat food when you hate cats so much??" She replied, "You won't believe this," and told him how her little girl had been begging her for a cat, but she kept refusing. Then, a few days earlier, the child had begged again, so she finally told her little girl, "Well, if God gives you a cat, I'll let you keep it." She told the Pastor, "I watched my child go out in the yard, get on her knees, and ask for a cat. And really, Pastor, you won't believe this, but I saw it with my own eyes. A kitten suddenly came flying out of the blue sky, with its paws outspread....and landed right in front of her!!!"  Never underestimate the Power of God and His unique sense of humor.

Today in our series on the spiritual disciplines, we look at prayer.  Although prayer is a spiritual discipline in and of itself, it also plays a role in nearly all of the other disciplines as well.  When we looked at fasting two weeks ago, I said that while you could pray without fasting, that you cannot fast without including prayer.  It’s integral to that process, at least to be fasting for spiritual reasons.  In confession, which we covered last week, it too involves prayer.  It can be part of a prayer, which is certainly what we do when we say the Lord’s Prayer, but even if we are making a confession that is not part of a prayer, that confession should be bathed in prayer, both before and after the prayer is made.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Yes, Lord, I Have Sinned, But I Have Several Excellent Excuses

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was Psalm 32 and 1 John 1:5-2:2:

Years ago, the chaplain of the football team at Notre Dame was a beloved old Irish priest.  At confession one day, a football player told the priest that he had acted in an unsportsmanlike manner at a recent football game.

"I lost my temper and said some bad words to one of my opponents."

"Ahhh, that's a terrible thing for a Notre Dame lad to be doin'," the priest said.  He took a piece of chalk and drew a mark across the sleeve of his coat.

"That's not all, Father.  I got mad and punched one of my opponents."

"Saints preserve us!" the priest said, making another chalk mark.

"There's more.  As I got out of a pileup, I kicked two of the other team's players in the in a sensitive area."

"Oh, goodness me!" the priest wailed, making two more chalk marks on his sleeve. "Who in the world were we playin' when you did these awful things?"

"Southern Methodist."

"Ah, well," said the priest, wiping his sleeve, "boys will be boys."

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

When You Fast...

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The texts were Isaiah 58:1-9a and Mark 1:9-15:

Today we begin a new sermon series which will take us through the season of Lent in which we are going to be looking at spiritual disciplines.  We are only going to be looking at five of all of the spiritual disciplines, but all of these practices’ purposes are to help us strengthen our faith and to deepen our relationship with God.  But, a caution to always keep in mind is that many of them, or maybe even all of them, can be practiced without putting God first, of merely being an outward sign without signifying any inward change, which is why God is chastising the Israelites in the passage we just heard from Isaiah.  One of idea to keep in mind is about the word discipline.  Most of us don’t really like the word discipline, even if it has the word spiritual in front of it, or maybe especially if it has the word spiritual in front of it.  When we hear the word discipline what do we normally think of? (punishment…)   While that is certainly part of the meaning of the word, there is more to it than that.  There is an area of knowledge, especially in higher education, so I could say that theology is one of the oldest disciplines and then there is activities or exercises done, usually following a set of rules, that allow us to increase our skill in something, which is more the discipline we are thinking of here.  That’s what athletes do when they begin practicing.

If you want to become a world class athlete, you can’t just practice your craft for 20 minutes every other day or so.  It has to be something which you do for long periods of time every day, which means you have to choose what other things you are going to eliminate from your life and you take on the discipline in your life of doing what is necessary in order to reach your goal or to attain a certain level of mastery in what you are doing.  So what the spiritual disciplines do is very similar.  They are a set of practices to help us achieve our goal, and hopefully we have such a goal, of deepening our faith, of becoming better in what we do and what we know about our faith, and most importantly of coming into better communion with God.  And so today we begin with our first spiritual discipline and it is the one that most people think of for Lent and that is fasting.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

We Are Mortal

Here is my sermon for Ash Wednesday:

They say that 19 year olds males make the best soldiers and the worst drivers for exactly the same reason.  They think they are invincible, that they are immortal, and so they do things that most of us who are older wouldn’t do because we think it’s stupid, although some of us might be willing to admit that we were prone to do exactly the same thing when we were 19.  But we don’t do it now because as we get older two things happened.  The first is that we got smarter and the second is that we became forced more and more to recognize the basic reality of death and realized that doing stupid things can put our life at risk.  And yet, even knowing that we mortal, for most of us death is still not something we necessarily focus on.  Sure there are times, like in middle age when it occurs to us that we are closer to 60 then we are to twenty, and so some people go out and get younger spouses, or they buy a sports car in order to feel younger, unless, like me, your wife won’t let you buy that car.  And I know that some of you are passed even 60, but bear with me.  Death is a present reality, something we know that’s there, but not necessarily something that changes what we do, our behavior, our actions, our thoughts, unless something happens that cause us to come face to face with our death.

Last year Bishop Bledsoe, who is the bishop for New Mexico, faced his own mortality after finding out that most of the arteries in his heart were clogged and his cardiologist said that he was lucky to be alive, and so he reports that he began to look at life different, to see each and every day as a gift, not to take anything for granted and to begin doing some of the things that he had always wanted to do.  In that, Bishop Bledsoe is not alone, because that is the response of many if not most people in a similar circumstance.  But I find that response a little strange, especially for us as Christians, because we should be facing or own mortality at the very least once a year, and that time is today.

Transfiguration: Light in the Darkness

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The text was 2 Corinthians 4:3-6 and Mark 9:2-9:

One of the conversations that are routinely held amongst clergy, although not really shared amongst those outside, is the difficulty we encounter in talking about the same stories over and over again, especially for those stories that occur every year like Christmas and Easter, and we wonder how we are going to find something new to say about them.  And then there are others, like the story of the transfiguration, a story which we encounter every year on the last Sunday before the season of Lent begins, first with the party we know as Mardi Gras and then Ash Wednesday, that cause us the same anxiety, although as we can tell we don’t get the same turn out for this story as we do at Easter and Christmas, but that doesn’t make it easier to come up with something new to say.  And I know your hearts are breaking for me, complaining about the preparation I have to do when I only work one day a week.

But in addition to today’s story, today is also the one year anniversary of the death of my 9-year-old nephew Wyatt.  In some ways it seems like so much longer than a year and in some ways it seems so much shorter than a year.  Some of you remember that time, and we thank you for your help getting us through it, and for those who weren’t here yet, Wyatt went into the emergency room with a severe headache and, according to his doctors, in a perfect storm of problems, died a week later when a blood clot in his brain caused swelling in his brain that couldn’t be controlled, taking his life.  Yet, there is a link to that tragedy and the story of Jesus’ transfiguration as well as Paul’s statement which today comes from his second letter to the Corinthians.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Evangelism: Preach It

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The texts were Mark 1:29-39  and 1 Corinthians 9:16-23:

Normally when we think of someone spreading the gospel message, of doing the dreaded word evangelism, there are several images that pop into our heads, or at least pop into my head.  The first is of someone, nearly always a stranger, who walks up to us carrying their Bible and saying something like, “Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior.”  And the second is either of Jehovah’s witnesses or Mormon’s coming to know on your door.  Recently, Linda and I were in our front yard and two Mormon’s came by, and I told them that I was a minister, and so they said something along the lines that I was clearly devoted to my faith and they just like to talk theology with people, to which I responded, “No, you really don’t.”  These are people that most of us don’t want to have to talk to or with which we want to deal.  We want them to go their way and leave us alone, and we definitely don’t want to be the people that others think of doing the same thing.
Even though on its face it the passage we just heard doesn’t seem like it is related to the passage from last week in which Paul was talking about the incredibly fascinating subject of meat that was sacrificed to idols and the idea of community, but it is a continuation of that idea, because of what Paul says that he is willing to do in order not only to be a part of a community of believers, but also what he believes that it means to be a follower of Christ.  One of the crucial things that is happening in this passage, and was also the case in the passage we heard last week, which are the verses before these, is that while Paul is certainly telling the Corinthians what they should do, it is not as orders, but instead by instruction because it is what Paul himself is either doing or would be willing to do or not do.  Because what we heard last week was that if eat meat sacrificed to idols would cause someone else to fall, then Paul himself would not eat that meat.  And then today he says that in order to reach others, that he is willing to become like a Jew for the Jews, like one outside the law for those outside the law, which would be gentiles, and to become like the weak, which is how he describes those who don’t eat meat because it has been sacrificed to idols, so that he might win the weak.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Naming It

Here is my sermon from Sunday.  The passages were 1 Corinthians 8:1-13 and Mark 1:21-28:

Several weeks ago as I was looking at the upcoming scripture readings, I was a little surprised to see today’s gospel passage; because I’ll be honest and say that I didn’t remember this story.  I certainly remember different times in which Jesus cast a demon outside of someone, although we shouldn’t think of this like the exorcist, this is not Linda Blair with her head spinning around, but I didn’t remember Jesus ever casting out a demon in a synagogue.  There is a duplicate of this story in the gospel of Luke, but as far as I can tell in my research this is the only time in the gospels that something like this happens within the walls of the synagogue, or for our purposes within the walls of the church.  And, I think there is something significant about this because it means that there is evil even inside the church, or at the very least there are disruptions and behaviors inappropriate enough that Jesus feels that he needs to call them out, and that is not something we are really good at addressing or talking about.  Some of it is because we are not good at naming evil, or at least naming it appropriately.

We could probably all agree that Hitler and Stalin were evil, but then that attribute gets applied to others.  It wouldn’t take much to find people comparing President Obama to Hitler or Speaker of the House John Boehner to Stalin, well maybe not so much for Speaker Boehner.  But we’ve sort of come to believe that if we disagree with someone that first of all that must make them wrong, and second it must make them evil.  How did we get to that point?  I use those two names because over the past two weeks I have been called both of those things by someone who is disgruntled with me, although since I started out as Hitler and then became Staling I’m not sure if I’m moving up or down the scale of evilness.  But how do we deal with things like this is the church?  How do we deal with people who disagree with us? How do we deal with things with which we disagree in the church?  Can we name them? Can we call out wolves in sheep’s clothing?  And how do we make such decisions and distinctions? Can we make those distinctions?  And if we do, how do we know that we are right and not just overreacting?  And do we respond to with hatred and loathing or do we respond to it with love and compassion?  What role do individual desires, beliefs and opinions have in and against those of the community?

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Gategate

Recently our dog got out because someone left the side gate at the house open.  We, of course, hired an independent counsel to do a full investigation to make sure we found out exactly who did it so proper blame could be assigned and we could all feel better about ourselves, even if we did nothing to make sure it didn't happen again.  And, since it seems we had to, we added "gate" to the end of the name to make sure everyone understood the seriousness of the situation.

Obviously this is a little satirical, although not the part about the dog getting out, but can we stop making everything the equivalent of Watergate, especially adding "gate" to everything?  And how did that become the standard, or the name, by which everything was set?  Why don't we name things after abscam, or even better the Tea Pot Dome Scandal?

I understand that "deflategate" sounds better than "deflatescam" or "deflatedome" but it's a little tiresome.  It's time for the news media to begin to be a little more creative or at least more intelligent about things.  I also can't help but think that a lot of this has more to do with who did it then what was done, especially since most of the media have disdain for Bill Belichick because he has, seemingly, such disdain for them.