A Missouri pastor has taken a leave of absence from his church amid backlash after he went viral for a sermon where he made controversial comments telling married women how to keep up their looks, warning that otherwise their husbands might stray.
Stewart-Allen Clark told the wives of his congregation that he doesn’t expect them to look like former First Lady Melania Trump — whom he called “the epic trophy wife of all time” — but “you don’t need to look like a butch, either.”
What are the details?
On Sunday, Clark preached to the First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri, about his views on the importance of having an “attractive wife,” telling women to practice “weight control,” warning them against wearing sweatpants too much and not giving their husbands “a reason to be looking around.”
The pastor said he doesn’t think women have the “capacity” or “ability to understand how visual men are.”
Clark reasoned, “”Ladies, it’s the way God made us,” telling his audience, “It’s the way we are. Men are going to look. He made us to look. You want them to be looking at you. Don’t let yourself go.”
“Now, look, I’m not saying every woman can be the epic, the epic trophy wife of all time, like Melania Trump — I’m not saying that at all,” Clark said at one point, posting a picture of Mrs. Trump on the screen. “Most women can’t be trophy wives… but maybe a participation trophy.”
He added, “I don’t know, but all I can say is not everybody looks like that! Amen! But you don’t need to look like a butch, either!”
The video of Clark’s message was posted online, and it sparked outrage from social media users who branded it “misogynistic” and “offensive,” according to The Daily Mail.
By Monday, General Baptist Ministries, the national organization for Clark’s denomination, issued a statement saying that their council had met to “address concerns” from Clark’s sermon after it “received significant exposure.”
“The sermon included comments that are not consistent with the position and values of General Baptists,” the organization wrote, noting that Clark had resigned from his position as the slated moderator for their upcoming July meeting.
GBM added, “General Baptists believe that every woman was created in the image of God, and they should be valued for that reason. Furthermore, we believe that all individuals regardless of any other factors are so loved by God that Christ died for them.”
The Kansas City Star reported that on Tuesday, Clark took a leave from his church.