A leading baptist preacher on the US has sparked controversy with a sermon complaining that too many women “let themselves go” after getting married – complaining that not enough women appear to be like “epic trophy wife of all time’ Melania Trump.
Stewart-Allen Clark, the pastor of the First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri, was until recently expected to become moderator of the General Association of General Baptists meeting – a hugely influential figure in US religious circles.
But after a video of his latest sermon emerged, that appears to have changed.
Brandishing a Bible, Clark asks “Why is it so many times that women after they get married let themselves go? Why is that? Why do they do that?”
Referring to the viral ‘distracted boyfriend’ meme, he adds that wives should make more of an effort not to let the men in their lives be tempted by other women.
“Now, I’m not saying every woman can be the epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump,” he says, as behind him a video screen shows a photo of the glamour model turned First Lady. “Most women can’t be trophy wives but, you know, like her. Maybe a participation trophy? I don’t know.”
“All I can say is, not everybody looks like that, amen?” he continues, to a somewhat muted response from the stunned congregation.
He goes on to say that most problems in marriages come down to women not watching their waistlines, and class that one of his friends has put a strict upper limit on his wife’s weight and has warned her that if she crosses the line he’ll divorce her.
He adds that he no longer offers marriage guidance counselling to his parishioners, saying “If you were sitting in my office, here’s the first thing I’d say to you, and boy I’d hate to say it — this is why I don’t do marital counselling anymore — and that is ‘weight control’.”‘
As part of his sermon, he trots out the old joke “Scientists have discovered, by the way, a food that diminishes a woman’s sex drive. It’s called wedding cake.”
General Baptist Ministries said in a Facebook post that it would “take appropriate action” about Clark’s statements, and added that he’d “resigned” from his position as moderator of the General Association.
According to the 1st General Baptist Church website, Pastor Clark is taking a leave of absence effective March 2 and is “seeking professional counselling.”
By firstname.lastname@example.org (Michael Moran)