KEY POINTS

  • A Missouri pastor used Melania Trump as an example of what women should strive to look like in a controversial sermon
  • The pastor's "sexist" sermon received criticism on Twitter
  • Some took issue with his use of the term "trophy wife"

The controversial sermon of a Missouri pastor, who hailed former first lady Melania Trump as an "epic trophy wife" whose appearance and style women should strive to emulate, has caught attention on social media.

This week, a video went viral showing pastor Stewart-Allen Clark of First General Baptist Church in Malden, Missouri, telling the female members of the congregation in late February to lose weight and appear less "butch" to keep their husband's attention. During the sermon, he used Trump as an example of what women should strive to look like.

"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," he said in the clip. "Most women can't be trophy wives... but maybe a participation trophy."

The video, which has since been taken down from the church's website, has received thousands of comments on Facebook, where it had been uploaded by a churchgoer. However, the controversial sermon was also met with criticism on Twitter.

"Setting women’s rights back 80 years," one person commented.

"I had hoped we had turned a corner back in ‘68 when we marched and effected change in women’s place in society I was wrong Both regarding men and the women who continue to buy this bs," another wrote.

Wrote another, "This is what destroys young girls before they have a chance to find out the truth..."

Some also took issue with him using the term "trophy wife."

"Wow. Wow. Wow. He is no trophy husband," one Twitter user wrote.

"I find it utterly bizarre that he said 'trophy wife' as if it was a good thing. Like men are big game hunters and ol Trump bagged himself a hot one. Yeah, that doesn't objectify half the human race, not at all. SMH," another user commented, while a third user said, "The trophy wife concept is nauseating."

"Well, he just lost his job! Great, I guess he has more time to search for his 'Trophy' wife. And what about that term 'Trophy' wife? Not so complimentary to Melania!?" another commented.

Others thought the term did not necessarily apply to Trump.

"A trophy??!!! By the way, melania is no real prize. She might LOOK good but she’s not," one tweeted, while a second user wrote, "What is he talking about? Epic Trophy Wife Melania did not even keep her husband’s attention. #stormydaniels."

"Why do people think Melania was a trophy wife? She’s not that cute or even glamorous!" another added.

However, a number of netizens did agree with the praise for Trump's looks.

"He won't hear any outrage from me. I wish I looked like Melania, so beautiful," one netizen wrote. "Although Melania is totally beautiful," another commented.

Following the backlash, Clark is now on leave from First General Baptist Church, though it is unclear whether or not he is still being paid, Fox 10 reported. The church also said the pastor is now seeking "professional counseling."

US first Lady Melania Trump is much more independent and influential than her quiet, mysterious public image suggests, says a new biography of the US first lady US first Lady Melania Trump is much more independent and influential than her quiet, mysterious public image suggests, says a new biography of the US first lady Photo: AFP / Brendan Smialowski