John Oliver Shines Light On Televangelist.
Recently on Comedy Central’s Last Week Tonight, the host, John Oliver, followed in the footstep of other Comedy Central notables and set up his own tax-exempt organization. On August 16, Mr. Oliver did a segment of his show on the practices of televangelist. Oliver ripped into the group for the practice of “seed offerings.”
This is the claim made by some evangelists that by giving money to the church, the offering will grow and be paid back to them by increased prosperity or by curing some malady. Oliver went on to recount how he had given money to popular televangelist, Robert Tilton, only to inundated with letters over the next few months asking for increasing amounts of money.
The popular satirist did not save his ire solely for televangelist but also took aim at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). He claimed that the agency turned a blind eye towards requests for tax exemption based on religious beliefs doing only three investigations in the last two years. He cited the IRS’s own regulations which allowed tax exemption for any truly held belief.
Oliver then went on to proclaim that he had filed paperwork for his own church, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, and provided an 800 number for viewers to call in and donate. Later on the show’s website, viewers were informed that all donations would be forwarded to Doctors Without Borders after the church was dissolved.
The IRS has had no comment in response to Mr. Close’s allegations.