Church sponsors 11th commandment bar contest

If the first 10 commandments were handed to Moses on Mt. Sinai, the 11th was born in less solemn surroundings: The British pub.

The Methodist Church, together with Christian Web site, invited drinkers to send in mobile phone text suggestions for an 11th commandment, leaving details of the unusual competition on beer mats in pubs around the nation.

The winning entry had an appropriately modern twist: "Thou shalt not worship false pop idols."

"The idea was to get people, especially those in their 20s and 30s, thinking about the commandments and to prompt a debate about ethics," said Simon Jenkins, editor of, who sifted through the 2,000 entries.

"By using beer mats, the Methodist Church hoped to connect with a group it doesn't usually reach," he said.

The church said it plans to publish a book of the best entries.

The top five submissions for a new commandment were rounded out by "Thou shalt not kill in the name of any God," "Thou shalt not confuse text with love," "Thou shalt not be negative" and - in a nod to the Atkins-era - "Thou shalt not consume thine own bodyweight in fudge."

Other suggestions included "Thou shalt not dance like your dad," "Thou shalt not dump your lover by text" and "Thou shalt not hold loud conversations on thy mobile phone in a public place."