I have seen thread after thread explaining how Satanism isn't as "bad as Christians stereotype them to be", but I have yet to see a thread dedicated specifically to correcting the stereotypes set upon Christianity. So I thought I'd make one. :)
First off, before we get to the main point, I want to say something about Knowledge and Wisdom. Knowledge is gained by those who are willing to learn; close your eyes and ears and you will remain ignorant and foolish, open your eyes and ears and you may see/hear things that you never thought were there. Wisdom is gained through experience; when you see/hear something check it out, learn more about it, see what it can/can't do, and make mental notes of the boons and banes. To avoid becoming wise, don't bother checking out what you see and hear.
That said, let's move on to the main point here. Here's a little index of what is listed below:
A) What a Christian is.
B) The Ten Commandments and why they are there.
C) The reason for Christians being "anti-other" or whatever.
D) Why it can be considered foolish to stereotype Christians.
E) How to tell a true Christian apart from a Hypocrite/Extremist.
A) A Christian is any individual that believes in, and accepts, Jesus Christ as their savior. Many people try to complicate this by adding allot of details, but basically a Christian is any individual who believes in and accepts Jesus Christ. The other bits and pieces of Christianity (be good, do this, do that, etc.) are also part of the religion, but not required to be a Christian. Some might say you could refer to doing those things as "getting bonus points" or something like that.
B) First Commandment: I am the Lord thy God and thou shalt not have any strange gods before me.
Second Commandment: Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
Third Commandment: Remember to keep holy the Lord's Day.
Fourth Commandment: Honor thy Father and Mother.
Fifth Commandment: Thou shalt not kill.
Sixth Commandment: Thou shalt not commit adultery.
Seventh Commandment: Thou shalt not steal.
Eigth Commandment: Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
Ninth Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife.
Tenth Commandment: Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's goods.
These commandments are not followed by everyone, nor are they even followed by all Christians. I know several Christians who are true to their beliefs yet have broken commandments 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 7. There are Christians out there who have broken the other four, there are also Christians who have broken all ten, but I have not met them in person so I can't say much about them. These commandments are here for pretty obvious reasons, to try to keep Christians (and everyone else who's willing to listen) doing the right thing and being an asset to society. Nobody really wants thieves, murderers, dishonorable cheaters and liars around. There are also Christians who have successfully integrated these commandments into every day life, of course, but these Christians you probably wouldn't know about. For the most part these Christians are at the point where they don't see the point in bragging about anything or they feel that it would be wrong to do so. They are satisfied in doing what they see as right, no need for approval from others.
Some people have used these commandments as a way to complicate being a Christian, saying that you have to follow every commandment in order to be a true Christian. Well, if that's the case then there are allot fewer Christians out there then the polls claim there to be. Nope, breaking a commandment is called "sinning" and Jesus died so that we wouldn't suffer eternal punishment for it. We don't HAVE to follow every commandment, but many Christians WANT and TRY to follow every commandment. It is because so few people can follow every commandment that we do not have the right to judge others for their sins, who are we to say a sinner is wrong when we ourselves have sinned? It's hypocrisy and hypocrisy is, in fact, frowned upon in Christianity. As, I'm sure, it is in many other religions.
C) Different people see things differently, and what you hear can easily affect what you see.
As a hypothetical situation, say you saw on the news that so-and-so was a mass murderer. You saw a pic of this person on the news and later saw this same person in your front yard. Chances are you'd call the cops and have the person arrested because you don't want to be murdered too. Several years later you may see on the news again that this person was framed and the real mass murderer has been arrested. This is not an attempt to dissuade you from calling the cops on a mass murderer (by all means, I would say call the cops. Better him then you, it could be that he really is a murderer), this is my way of letting you know that not everything you hear is true even if the person saying it believes it to be. So many years ago some Priest or another was ignorant and spread the rumor about other religions being what many Christians nowadays believe them to be, but not all Christians believe this. Back then the other religions didn't concern Christians to much so they didn't research these religions themselves, the result was the spread of ignorance and the lack/loss of knowledge. In the modern day many Christians, myself included, are more open minded and are looking into things themselves. I can tell you from personal experience that many of the stereotypes that Christians placed on others are wrong(this last sentence is for other Christians who might be viewing this, I don't think I need to tell the witches that witches aren't what some Christians think they are).
D) Funny enough, I have seen time and time again someone on this site will make a several paragraph post complaining and whining about Christians stereotyping everyone and then the complainer/whiner makes a second post, or sometimes adds into the SAME post, how "all Christians are the same" and they go on stereotyping Christians. A common Christian stereotype includes these traits; ignorance, close-mindedness, hypocrisy, hateful towards everything different, judgmental, and they try to forcefully convert others. Well, I'm living proof that these stereotypes are wrong. I may be ignorant on a few things, but who isn't? Nobody knows everything. I try to be as open-minded as possible, which is why I have taken up Jediism and can now be called a "Christian Jedi." I try my best to not be hypocritical, but everyone makes mistakes once in a while and whenever someone points out(or if I realize on my own) that I've been hypocritical I do own up to my mistake and apologize. I am not hateful towards anything different, rather things that are different strike my curiosity and are well worth studying and learning more about. I do my best not to be judgmental, but I do tend to develop a low opinion towards hypocrites, cowards, and criminals. And I never try to force my beliefs on others, I simply share my beliefs when someone expresses an interest in something I happen to know a bit about.
Everyone is different, everyone has their own unique personality, and that is why it is somewhat stupid to stereotype any group (including Christians) just because they have a certain label, title, appearance, or religion.
E) A Hypocritical Christian is likely to say things like "you're going to hell", or do things like getting drunk on Saturday and saying it's ok because they'll go to church the next day. Hypocrites are also the ones who are likely to criticize you for the way you dress, the things you say, the way you act, etc. Although non-hypocrites may criticize allot as well, they are not the ones who would run you out of the church for not wearing a suit and they are not the ones who would refuse to talk to you just because you don't dress up to their standards. Hypocrites are very common among the Christian religion, unfortunately, and I think it's because they feel that by claiming Christianity as a religion they can be jerks/fools/pricks/etc, and still keep a good reputation by going to church.
Extremists are the Christians (who may or may not be Christian, it is possible to find a Hypocritical Extremist) who you can see on street corners yelling things like "Repent now or burn in hell forever!", doing things like using a whip to tear open their own backs when they sin(this also has another name, but I have forgotten it right now), they may attack other people(verbally or otherwise) for not being Christian or for being "devil-worshipers."
Neither Hypocrites nor Extremists accurately show what the Christian religion is about. Both give the religion as a whole a bad name and seem to be the cause of many stereotypical views.
And that concludes my little Christianity lesson. Thank you, for those of you who were willing and patient enough to read the whole thing. For everyone else; sorry for making it to long.