Are we really that bad?

Recently I was introduced to a new friend by way of another friend. I really only know both of these fine folks through facebook, so I don't know either of them in a "real" way and what they know about me is only from things I post on facebook.

I bring this up because in making the introduction, my "old" friend described me to my "new" friend like this (not exact quote):  "You'll like him, he's really cool. He's a Christian but don't let that bother you, he's a good guy anyway."

Everyone in on the conversation understood was was being said and nothing insulting or unkind was intended in any way and I didn't take it that way at all. But it made me think...

Are Christians, as a whole, so bad that something like this needs to be said in any context? It doesn't bother me that it was said about me, but why did it HAVE to be said? Do people need to be given a warning between "this kind of Christian" and "that kind of Christian"?

I know a lot of the Christian "public" image comes from the media. Especially in an election year it seems like the words "Christian values", "faith based issues", and this mysterious group called "value voters" get a lot of buzz. Discussions about this candidate's faith or that candidate's church get a lot of screen time too. Unfortunately, most of this attention is given to what the candidates and voters stand against. Christians are seen by some as those who say "no, you can't have that". Gay marriage? No, you can't have that. Abortion? No, you can't have that. And on it goes.

Then when you throw "conservative" into the mix (some assume Christian=conservative and conservative=Christian) and all the political issues that go alone with that, it gets even messier. "Fair" taxes on corporations and the wealthy? No, you can't have that. Universal health care? No, you can't have that. And on it goes.

That's what many people assume. Christians aren't for anything, but against everything.

Are we really that bad?