If you didn’t catch “Last Week Tonight” over the weekend, John Oliver did a brilliant takedown of evangelist preachers who exploit people’s faith for monetary gain - people like Robert Tilton, Creflo Dollar, Mike Murdock, Kenneth and Gloria Copeland who have used donated church money to buy themselves luxury private jets and huge mansions.
Preaching “the Prosperity Gospel” that says donations will result in prosperity coming back to them, these evangelists have a history of targeting vulnerable people who cannot afford to make such large donations - and because their organizations are registered as churches or religious non-profits, these donations are tax-free with very little regulation.
Oliver spent seven months corresponding with Robert Tilton and sending him money, and the pressuring tactics Tilton’s people used to request even more money are incredible.
Then he went one better and teamed up with “Saturday Night Live” alum Rachel Dratch to legally found his own evangelical church, “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption,” with an actual address and phone number people can actually use to send him money:
"Lo, true believer, the hour of donating to Pastor, Megareverend, and CEO John Oliver’s Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption Church is at hand! Can you feel the spirit stirring within you? Specifically, the spirit of tax-exempt monetary compensation?"
We can’t wait to see how John Oliver’s new church will reward its followers for their donations.