On Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver discussed the “prosperity gospel” with his viewers, discussing televangelists and churches who make millions of dollars by exploiting people’s faith.
He started the segment by saying:
Churches are a cornerstone of American life. There are roughly 350,000 congregations in the United States, and many of them do great work — feeding the hungry, clothing the poor. But this is not a story about them. This is about the churches that exploit people’s faith for monetary gain.
Oliver explained to viewers that the prosperity gospel “argues that wealth is a sign of God’s favor, and donations will result in wealth coming back to you. That idea takes the form of ‘seed faith’—that donations are seeds that you will one day get to harvest.”These televangelists preach that by donating your money to the church, or the messenger, God will pay you back in much bigger and better ways.
These preachers will encourage church members to max out credit cards or even to take out loans in order to donate large amounts of money to the church. You may remember back in March, televangelist Creflo Dollar asked his congregation to raise him $65 million so he could buy a private jet.
As Oliver points out, all these preachers are doing is living a life of luxury at the financial ruin of their church members and promising them a bigger and better payout, but they won’t see that until after death.
It is the ultimate scam.
You can watch John Oliver rip these con-artists apart below.
[Image: HBO / YouTube screen capture]