But it gets worse, some preachers push faith healing and collect money for their claims that God will heal. And people give…
Oliver exposes the bizarre legality of such religious fund-raising and their tax exempt status. He reveals that his show has been in communication for seven months with Robert Tilton to see how he runs his ministry.
The clip is not particularly funny in terms of jokes but is impressive due to its hard hitting documentation of exactly how slimy these churches can be. Oliver takes it to the limit though, and sets up his own church to test the legal and financial limits of what religious entities are allowed to do.
In the past 10 years, satire from the likes of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert have been instrumental in getting people thinking about and involved in world events. Their schtick has been more informative than “fair and balanced” news channels. Therefore, this is kind of historic and important. And it’s legit.
Here is the underlying disclaimer from the show’s Facebook page:
Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption will not be able to accept donations from Church supporters from the states of Mississippi, Nevada, Pennsylvania, or South Carolina. We apologize for any inconvenience. Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption may choose to wind down and dissolve in the near future. Upon dissolution, any assets belonging to the Church at that time will be distributed to Doctors Without Borders, a non-proﬁt charitable organization that is tax-exempt under § 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code (EIN: 13-3433452) and which provides emergency medical aid in places where it is needed most.
Please consider that this activity is not about religious freedom or bashing Christianity – it’s about fairness and the intent of the religious exemptions legally provided in the US that are clearly being abused for preachers lavish lifestyles. People who can’t afford these donations are being coerced into giving – what are they getting in return? Fleeced. That’s just not right.