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John Oliver starts an epic TV ministry to prove that anyone can be a televangelist in America

Television evangelists Jim Bakker and wife Tammy Faye Bakker
AP Photo
John Oliver is soon to join these televangelism superstars.
By Sasha Zients
Published Last updated This article is more than 2 years old.

As of Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, John Oliver has established “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption,” a tax exempt, TV ministry.

The elaborate spoof was the culmination against Oliver’s segment on television preachers who “exploit people’s faith for monetary gain.” While televangelism, as it is known, was biggest in the 1980’s before many churches were publicly discredited, Oliver noted that these churches still exist and thrive today—being tax exempt and facing practically no restrictions from US tax authorities.

Many of these pastors preach the so-called “prosperity gospel,” which is a theology that basically says that if individuals donate to their ministry, they will eventually reap the benefits in the form of blessings. Through the gospel, many televangelist preachers have been able to accumulate substantial fortunes.

To further prove his point about the absurdity of these congregations and the lack of tax regulations surrounding them, Oliver set up a church of his own.


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