Stewart-Allen Clark, a Baptist pastor from Missouri, is on leave after receiving broad criticism for making sexist and racist comments about generally women, and former First Lady Melania Trump specifically, during a sermon to his congregation.

“I’m not saying every woman can be the epic trophy wife of all time like Melania Trump,” Clark told his church in February as an image of her appeared on a screen behind him.

“Most women can’t be trophy wives, but you know … maybe you’re a participation trophy,” Clark said during his sermon at First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri.

“Men have a need for their women to look like women. Sweatpants don’t cut it all the time. Wearing flip flops and pajamas to Walmart, that ain’t gonna work. Ain’t nothing attractive about that. And men want their wives to look good at home and in public, can I get an Amen!” the pastor continued in the sermon.

Clark’s words were condemned as absurd for a religious sermon – and racist. For example, in one part of his address, Clark said, “If beautiful women from the south are called ‘southern belles,’ does that mean beautiful women from Mexico are called ‘Taco Belles?'”

Clark has now taken a leave of absence from the church and is now seeking “professional counseling,” according to the church, which issued a statement saying his sermon “included comments that are not consistent with the positions and values of General Baptists.”

The church also stated “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.”

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