1. We’re all prudes. Let’s just get rid of the word “prude” right away, because it’s pretty meaningless, and everyone has a different definition. There are a lot of Christians who wait until marriage for sex — that’s just a fact. This isn’t about being a prude, it’s about deciding what you want to do with your life and your body. And trust me, whenever we choose to do it, we can have some pretty great sex.
2. We don’t know how to have fun. Everyone thinks that we can’t come to a party and just have fun with everyone else, or dance at the bar to trashy top 40 songs, but we’re just as capable as anyone of having fun and letting loose.
3. We’re all anti-gay marriage. This is one of the things that really bothers me the most — first of all, there are plenty of Christian LGBT people. Second of all, there are huge portions of faithful people who are totally in support of marriage equality, and entire churches which work towards it. There are LGBT church leaders. There are pro-gay marriage rallies organized by Christian groups. And yes, sometimes you will encounter someone who is against the idea, but that doesn’t mean that we all are. Far from it.
4. We’re going to try and convert you. Most of us adopt the opinion of: We’re here if you’re interested in learning about Christ and our faith, but we’re not going to push it on anyone. It’s a journey that everyone has to walk for themselves.
5. If we get married, we’re doing it for our religion. Christians get married for love, just as much as anyone else. People often confuse “doing something for your religion, and doing something because you believe the ritual and you want to share it with this person that you love.” Rituals and faith and commitment are still a big part of a lot of people’s relationships, and it isn’t because they are forced to.
6. We don’t drink. Where does this rumor even come from???
7. We don’t want (or know how) to be friends with people who aren’t Christian. Every Christian I know has tons of non-Christian friends, and it’s honestly never an issue.
8. We’ve never made mistakes. A lot of people come to their faith after mistakes they’ve made in their life, and everyone continues to make them regardless of where they are in their spirituality. It’s not a question of being the “perfect” person, it’s a question of building on your mistakes and learning to improve yourself and draw closer to God.
9. We’re all Republicans. There are plenty of strong Christian Democrats. I should know, I’m one of them.
10. If there is a war, we are always for it. Somehow Christians in America, even young ones, have gotten the stereotype of being the kind of people who vote for war when it comes. The truth is, many of us are the most peaceful individuals you can imagine, and always advocate nonviolence if it’s an option. There are a lot of Christians who are actively serving, and no one is more aware of the risks and pitfalls of war than they are.
11. We’re Christian because our parents were. You would be surprised at how many people at 20-something-heavy church groups and functions are the first people in their family to truly embrace religion. Not as many people as you think grew up with heavily religious families, and many of us come to it independently as adults because we feel a need and love for faith in our lives.
12. We don’t believe in science. This is ridiculous. Creationists exist, but many of us have as much love for science and reason as we do for our faith, and we know that they can coexist in the same person’s brain.
13. We’re not “getting the most” out of our 20s. I never quite know what the things we’re “supposed” to be doing are, but if they’re things like sleeping with different people, partying a lot, or making irresponsible decisions, that’s totally wrong. I hate to break it to you, but there are plenty of Christians who have done that. But beyond that, even for the many of us who haven’t had casual sex and don’t do drugs or drink a lot, there are many other things we do that fulfill us, and that doesn’t mean we’re “missing out” from any universal experience of your 20s.
14. We all marry our high-school sweethearts. I honestly don’t know where this stereotype came from, but I’ve often been asked if my husband was my high school sweetheart, and they always do it after they find out that we are both Christians. Yes, a lot of Christians tend to date fewer numbers of people, but marrying your high school sweetheart is still a pretty rare thing.
15. If we’ve traveled, it’s been on mission trips. Every time I’ve mentioned my travels — even the trip I went on to South America at 21 with friends — people will ask me if it was a mission trip. Yes, there is such a thing as missions, but not every Christian has done one, and not every Christian vacation includes talking to people about the Bible.
16. There must be some “reason” for our Christianity. People always wonder why we are religious, because we live in a society and a generation where so many people live without it. It seems like there has to be some direct force making you follow this religion, and that it couldn’t just happen. But the truth is that most of us are Christians simply because we have faith and value our relationship with God. We have our own apartments, work our own jobs, and live our own lives. No one is forcing us to be anything we’re not, and there is no special reason for having faith — we just do.
17. We don’t know how to be tolerant. We often get comments about how “intolerant” Christians can be, and yet you would be shocked to see some of the things that people feel comfortable in saying to you when you identify yourself as one to them. People openly make fun of Christianity, and think that there is something wrong with you for choosing it. And while I understand that some people had bad experiences with the religion growing up, that doesn’t mean that everyone has those experiences. And, yes, some Christians are very intolerant. But so are some atheists. And honestly, we could all work on being better.