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Daily Record
Daily Record
Mark McGivern

Sexist US pastor tells Scots church women are here to serve, cook and clean

A controversial US preacher is being probed after telling his flock that women’s “primary ­functions” are washing up, cooking and cleaning. Pastor Donald Clough has been accused of penning “a masterclass in misogyny” over his claims the world is in a mess because too many women are refusing to submit to the will of their husbands.

The pastor told his congregation at Moray Coast Baptist Church, in the village of Garmouth, near Fochabers, that he wouldn’t like his wife to look ugly – but he also wouldn’t like her to “look sensual” in front of other men. The American fundamentalist penned a sermon that the National Secular Society (NSS) claims breaches charity ­guidelines.

According to his sermon, The Conduct of Christian Women, women should regard their role in life “to be married, to have children, and to tend to household affairs – the cooking, the cleaning, the washing up, the preparing of meals”. NSS head of campaigns Megan Manson said: “This is a masterclass in misogyny.

“It’s shocking to think these sexist, patriarchal attitudes still exist in Scotland. It’s even more shocking to think that a leader in a registered charity which runs a children’s Sunday School would promote the subjugation of women.”

Manson said that, in return for generous tax breaks, charities are meant to provide a public benefit and not cause likely detriment or harm. And she slammed the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) for failing to take action whenever religion is involved.

Pastor Donald Clough and his wife Tabitha (Facebook)

She said: “Promoting female subordination clearly doesn’t benefit the public – it merely fuels the misogyny underpinning discrimination, abuse and coercive control of women that the Scottish Government says it is committed to ending.

“Unfortunately, OSCR appears unwilling to act against charities promoting harmful ideas when those ideas are religious. If ‘the advancement of religion’ charitable purpose enables charities to promote misogyny with impunity, it must be removed from the register of charitable purposes.”

Pastor Clough came to Fochabers from his home in Minnesota, where he was an assistant pastor at the New Testament Baptist Church. Moray Coast Baptist Church is ­registered under the charitable purpose of “the advancement of religion” and says its object is to “proclaim and propagate the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Baptist faith through the ministry and through a program of Christian education”.

It believes that “the Bible is the inspired Word of God” and “that it is without error and will never lead us astray”. The church holds a Sunday School, run by Clough’s wife Tabitha, for children aged four to 10 to “learn valuable life lessons from the Holy Bible”.

The pastor told his congregation at Moray Coast Baptist Church that he wouldn't like his wife to look ugly (Facebook)

In his sermon, Clough states: “Society would be a lot better if women would submit to their husbands.” He said: “As a woman, your role in the home is to submit to the authority and ­leadership of your husband, and to bring up godly children.

“And in the church your role is to submit to your pastor and the ­leadership of the men in the church.”

He also said women “tend to be a little more easily deceived than men” in spiritual matters but that they save themselves “by focusing on the role that God has given to them”.

He said the “primary function” of a woman is “to be married, to have children, and to tend to household affairs – the cooking, the cleaning, the washing up, the preparing of meals”. He added that women today “have a very different focus than what God intended”, because many are very career-minded.

He said: “Society would be a lot better if women would submit to their husbands and tend to their children and take care of their home.” Clough said men “tend to struggle” with “seeing a woman and having a desire for her”, but that women can greatly help by “not dressing in an immodest or a sensual way”.

He gave the example of his wife, Tabitha, saying: “I wouldn’t want my wife going around looking like something the cat dragged in, as they say, or like she was wearing a sack or something like that. I want her to look nice.

Pastor Donald Clough has been accused of penning “a masterclass in misogyny” (Facebook)

“And I want other people to see how nice she looks. But I don’t want her to look sensual, only when she’s around me, but I don’t want her looking that way around other people and I don’t want her drawing attention to herself in a sensual way.

“And I don’t want her looking ugly but I don’t want her being extravagant to the point of excess.”

Clough said a woman shouldn’t be “forward, or flirtatious, or attention-seeking”, adding: “I think we’ve all known women that behave themselves that way.” The OSCR confirmed it is investigating a complaint about the church.

A spokesperson said: “We can confirm we have received a concern about this charity, which is currently being ­examined in the usual way according to our published policies. We cannot comment any further at this time.”

When the Record set out the ­allegations of a “masterclass in misogyny” to Pastor Clough, he denied this was the case.

The pastor said: “We believe that men and women occupy different roles, both within their homes (Ephesians 5:22-33) and within the churches (1 Timothy 2: 9-15), but this in no way means that women are inferior to men.”

He added: “I am not relating my own opinions, I am simply passing on what the Bible teaches. I realise that the beliefs and opinions of people who don’t believe the Bible may differ from my own.

“But my purpose has never been to make the Bible fit in with the current opinions or thoughts of the day.”

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