John Oliver accused U.S. church leaders and televangelists of exploiting “people’s faith for monetary gain,” during “Last Week Tonight” aired on Sunday, news said.
Tax laws in the United States do not impose taxes on churches and religious organizations, which are free to collect donations from their followers, also tax-free.
Oliver specifically lambasted many televangelists who capitalized on the Gospel, saying followers who donate money to their church or leaders will be rewarded with prosperity.
CBC also played footage from its archive, in which preachers prided themselves of having raised “millions of dollars in this way to buy private jets.” News also mentioned a case of a woman, diagnosed with cancer and died for refusing any treatment because she would rather donate “thousands of dollars to Texas ministers Kenneth and Gloria Copeland.”
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Testing financial feasibility of churches
During Sunday’s show, Oliver announced his show will test the viability of raising money by churches by setting up his own church. John Oliver established “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption” through the help of a tax lawyer. The church also has its own website with his photo.
In Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption’s donate page, Oliver addressed Last Week Tonight’s followers that they “can send cheques, cash or money orders.” There is also a fine print which says that upon the church’s dissolution, the money raised will be donated to “Doctors Without Borders.”
— Last Week Tonight (@LastWeekTonight) August 17, 2015