Penn Jillette, one of the people that I admire the most, has this to say about compassion:
It’s amazing to me how many people think that voting to
have the government give poor people money is compassion. Helping poor
and suffering people is compassion. Voting for our government to use
guns to give money to help poor and suffering people is immoral
self-righteous bullying laziness.
People need to be fed,
medicated, educated, clothed, and sheltered, and if we’re compassionate
we’ll help them, but you get no moral credit for forcing other people
to do what you think is right. There is great joy in helping people,
but no joy in doing it at gunpoint.
I have long held this position, and this, Mr Jillette, is why I am a fan.