John Oliver takes people to church

Story by: Jenna Jones, Opinions Editor

In August, John Oliver focused on the issues regarding televangelists, preachers who make appearances on television to appeal to the public for funds, on his show “Last Week Tonight.”

Oliver’s aim in the episode was to point out how fraudulent and manipulative televangelists can be when asking for money. After citing multiple examples of preachers who had used the funds intended for religious prosperity for personal uses, Oliver went on to announce the establishment of his own church, Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.

The church is named this as a way to emphasize the ease with which churches can receive tax exemptions. Any organization, such as Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption, that can verify itself as a religious one is exempt from taxes, .

“And that is when I realized, the message Robert Tilton was sending me was that I should set up my own church to test the legal and financial limits of what religious entities are able to do. So, that is what we have done,” Oliver stated.

Surprisingly enough, his church was flooded donations from people all over the world in just one week. In his next episode, he displayed the thousands of letters that contained various amounts of money, totaling thousands of dollars.

Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption has a donation page that states all assets the church has acquired will “be distributed to Doctors Without Borders.” Doctors Without Borders is an organization that works to send medical aid to areas where it is severely needed, in order to better improve the lives of people around the world.

Alexie Evans, 12, “I think that’s amazing. That makes me really happy. It’s nice to know that they’re actually donating to a good cause, unlike some churches who use the donations for personal reasons.”