Televangelism has been around since the early twenties with S. Parkes Cadman who used radio to spread the word of God beginning in 1923. Several decades later Fulton J. Sheen in 1951 also used radio to share the gospel , he stayed on air for at least two decades with his popular radio broadcast and went on to win several Emmy Awards.
Oral Roberts was one of many who made huge profits using Televangelism to draw in millions of viewers who watched from the comfort of their own homes, they not only watched his program but sent in millions of dollars which was used to promote his healthy and luxurious lifestyle.
Fast forward you have ministers with congregations big enough to fill football stadiums. They have raked in millions to purchase private jets, Mansions, Luxury automobiles and sending thier children to the best universities the country ha to offer.
ministers like Joyce Meyer, TD Jakes, Kenneth Copeland, Creflo Dollar, Eddie Long, Benny Hinn and Randy and Paula White all own million dollar homes and private jets all across the country.
You ask why tax now? Is it because others are now having the same healthy luxurious lifestyle afforded to a certain class of people or is it because spreading the word of God is no longer the goal?
See what Uproxx reported:
Just last Sunday, John Oliver took on the shady world of televangelism and the common practice of a type of seed-faith known as “prosperity gospel.” During the 20-minute segment, Oliver described prosperity gospel as the notion that wealth is a sign of God’s favor and donations sent to the church will result in said wealth coming back to you.
After that episode of Last Week Tonight aired, a report hit from CBS News that the IRS is now being pressured into clamping down on televangelists. Making these men and women of God accountable for the private jets they acquire from those aforementioned “seeds” definitely is a step in the right direction, but there’s no sure bet this will actually happen.
According to religious fraud investigator Ole Anthony, “Televangelists are able to receive millions because the IRS has turned a “blind eye” to their tax-exempt churches.” That being said, church audits were suspended from 2009 to 2013, with just a total of three conducted from 2013 to 2014. Since the IRS named Scientology a church, it’s become free reign for anyone to label themselves as such.
To drive this point home, Oliver created his very own church last weekend called “Our Lady of Perpetual Exemption.” To refresh your memories, here’s the entire segment: