John Oliver took sleazy televangelists to the wood chipper on Sunday night for preaching the so-called “prosperity gospel” and “seed faith,” which basically promises that the more money congregants donate, the higher favor they’ll curry with God.
The HBO host exposed these shady TV evangelists through a series of disturbing clips, news stories, and even a seven-month investigation where he ended up personally donating $319 to Robert Tilton, and then got 26 letters back demanding more cash.
Unfortunately, slimy small-screen preacher Tilton isn’t an anomaly. Not only do the greediest of these televangelists apparently all own private jets and love to brag about it, one even ironically guaranteed that with a $1,000 donation, God would wipe out a church member’s credit card debt.
Sadly, that guy wasn’t the worst. A female preacher actually encouraged cancer patients to stop seeking treatment and start donating their medically earmarked money instead. One woman did, but sadly, did not live to talk about it.
Outraged? Oliver is too. The “Last Week Tonight” host was so disturbed that he actually decided to start his own (presumably) tax-free church: Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption. This is real, and he is open for donations, daring the IRS to audit his “religion.”
Watch the video above.