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Idiot Compassion
American Thinker ^ | June 06, 2007 | Ralph Alter

Posted on 06/06/2007 1:17:58 AM PDT by neverdem

The term "bleeding-heart liberal" has been bandied about for years, in an effort to illustrate the faux or at least hyperbolic sense of compassion attributed to those on the left.  The lefties in America and Europe would like to be known as those who care, unless you happen to be a Bible-following Christian, a conservative or a fetus.

The information age has facilitated the dissemination of all things cultural, spiritual and intellectual.  One of the most important developments in the West has been the study and practice of Eastern religions and "ways."  Zen Buddhism, for instance, is thought of by those who practice it, as a way rather than a religion.  These religions and ways, particularly Buddhism, are thought of as the fonts of compassion.   Buddhists are thought to be unwilling to harm even a mosquito.  Hence the occasional story about a temple over-run with rats or monkeys because the attendant monks are unwilling to harm these creatures.  They believe that the rodents or simians have as much right to their sacred spaces as any other being.

The most intriguing and brilliant analyst of the world history of spiritual practice and the melding of East and West today is undoubtedly Ken Wilber.  Wilber`s insight into Buddhism in general and compassion in particular is unmatched in the West.  ( Read A Brief History of Everything, for instance.) In One Taste, Wilber responds to a student's question about compassion with an illuminating view: 
"[Most] confusion... in spiritual circles ....comes from confusing compassion with idiot compassion." 
This term was first used by Chogyam Trungpa, a Tibetan Rinpoche who helped bring Buddhism to the West in the 70`s.  Wilber continues:
"Idiot compassion" thinks it is being kind, but it's really being cruel.  If you have an alcoholic friend and you know that one more drink might kill him, and yet he begs you for a drink, does real compassion say that you should give it to him?  After all, to be kind you should give him what he wants, right?  Giving him the drink would therefore show compassion, yes?  No. Absolutely not.

"Real compassion includes wisdom and so it makes judgments of care and concern; it says some things are good, and some things are bad, and I will choose to act only on those things that are informed by wisdom and care."
Of course, here Wilber illuminates the missing ingredient in liberal "compassion."  The world, viewed through the liberal's gray colored, politically-correct glasses, makes no discerning judgments, or at least incorrect ones.  Hence, we get addle-brained protesters picketing to save the lives of serial killers on death row or human shields willing to give up their lives to protect suicide bomber cults and Islamic terrorists.   Since all killing is bad, it must be bad to kill Islamic terrorists or convicted murderers.  This idiot view, foregoes the greater good and lapses into solipsism.

The biographies of the Buddha reveal that in one of his early incarnations, he met a murderer of 1000's of men.  Acting correctly and with compassion for all sentient beings, the Buddha's incarnation killed the murderer to prevent additional suffering.  That  is true compassion!

The "compassionate" left would rather have us believe that the detainees at Guantanamo, the murderers and rapists in our prisons, the violent Palestinians and other Islamo-fascists are the rightful and primary objects of our care and concern.  
It's time we revealed this sham pretension of compassion for what it is:  a reckless disregard for reason and judgment, disguised in the touchy-feely cover of political correctness.  When you spot liberals pretending compassion under the guise of idiot compassion, out them! 

True compassion offers help even for the idiots!

Ralph Alter is a real estate broker and student of Buddhism from Carmel, Indiana.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Editorial; Foreign Affairs; Philosophy; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: buddha; buddhism; buddhist; compassion; doctrineofdemons; faith; liberalism; moralabsolutes; moraljudgment; moralrelativism; paganism; pagans; welfare
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To: jabbermog
I was codependent and had (still have)a lot of narcissistic issues. Until I realized what was happening, of course, I was a compassionate Democrat. It took a few years for the knowledge to really sink in and make changes, and issues are something you have to try to be aware of forever.

What the left defines as social justice, I call narcissism, because it is narcissism to assume that your definition of justice is universal.

What the left calls compassion, I call codependency because it's codependent to use the power of government to assume/take what is other people's responsibility.

If spiritual growth is all about assuming 100% of one's personal responsibility; then the left, which does everything it can to take people's responsibility ( in the name of help); cannot be compatible with spiritual growth.

21 posted on 06/06/2007 11:15:31 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: neverdem
Neverdem, I was referring to the author of the article, not you. The short bio after the author’s name states he is a student of Buddhism and an attorney from Carmel, Indiana.
22 posted on 06/06/2007 11:16:46 AM PDT by Rembrandt_fan
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To: jabbermog

“that you Yanks, unlike Europeans, are an obstinate bunch - decent and honest - but will not allow noisy minority interest groups to tell you what to say and think”.

I appreciate your compliment, but I only wish it were true. IMO, we have far too many Americans willing to swallow the liberal lie hook, line and sinker!


23 posted on 06/06/2007 12:07:55 PM PDT by HanneyBean
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To: raybbr
Did you read the article? Or, does the fact that it was written by a Bhuddist bother you?

Huh? Not sure what you are getting at.
Am I bothered that a Buddhist wrote it?
Should I be?

24 posted on 06/06/2007 12:49:34 PM PDT by XR7
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To: jabbermog
Another symptom of this is the person’s obsession with levelling ie. every single human being is equal.

Except for the obsessed person, who believes he or she is "above" everyone else and knows best how they should run their lives.

25 posted on 06/06/2007 12:53:25 PM PDT by XR7
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To: XR7
"Quang Duc's act also affected leftist Americans who later immolated themselves to protest the war"

Any chance it's still got the same ol' magic?

Any chance at all???

26 posted on 06/06/2007 12:56:40 PM PDT by MarineDad (Whenever mosques and JDAM's meet, civilization benefits.)
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To: neverdem
Idiot compassion invents Miranda rights to protect criminals from prosecution rather than allowing police powers to protect innocent citizens.

"Idiot compassion" means no right to be silent? And no right to counsel during questioning? Hmm.

27 posted on 06/06/2007 1:04:41 PM PDT by Teacher317
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To: XR7
Huh? Not sure what you are getting at. Am I bothered that a Buddhist wrote it? Should I be?

Your first post to this thread was "Wanna bet we will see this column printed in the “Faith & Religion” section of any west coast newspapers?"

I took that to mean that you think because it's Buddhism, that it shouldn't be posted in any "Faith & Religion" section. As it it's not a legitimate religion. If not then why ask the question?

Your second post shows a reference to a man immolating himself who is a Buddhist. I was trying to understand the point you were trying to make. It seems to me that you are denigrating Buddhism. What is YOUR point?

28 posted on 06/06/2007 1:48:33 PM PDT by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote.)
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To: raybbr
Your first post to this thread was "Wanna bet we will see this column printed in the “Faith & Religion” section of any west coast newspapers?"

My question was merely rhetorical. Most "Faith & Religion" columns in West Coast papers include a diversity of religions, including Buddhism. However, this was one article I am betting is probably not going to get printed in any MSM paper.

Your second post shows a reference to a man immolating himself who is a Buddhist. I was trying to understand the point you were trying to make. It seems to me that you are denigrating Buddhism. What is YOUR point?

I was not denigrating Buddhism. I was merely presenting a graphic example of the title of this thread, and the subject of Ralph Alter's article.

29 posted on 06/06/2007 1:58:28 PM PDT by XR7
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To: XR7
My question was merely rhetorical. Most "Faith & Religion" columns in West Coast papers include a diversity of religions, including Buddhism. However, this was one article I am betting is probably not going to get printed in any MSM paper.

Okay, I get it now. It's because it uses Buddhism as a way of slamming socialism. You are right, there.

I was not denigrating Buddhism. I was merely presenting a graphic example of the title of this thread, and the subject of Ralph Alter's article.

Put together with your explanation I understand now. Thanks. Sorry if I offended. I really didn't know what you were getting at.

Enjoy your day. Ray

30 posted on 06/06/2007 2:08:06 PM PDT by raybbr (You think it's bad now - wait till the anchor babies start to vote.)
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To: Marie

Very well put...and very wise!


31 posted on 06/06/2007 5:30:47 PM PDT by LiteKeeper (Beware the secularization of America; the Islamization of Eurabia)
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To: neverdem
Thanks for the compliment, and putting up with my choices in articles for a ping, aka teaching. Docs are supposed to do it. A well informed electorate won't hurt.

No problem! You're one of my favorite posters. :-)

32 posted on 06/06/2007 6:32:18 PM PDT by Marie (Unintended consequences.)
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To: Red Boots
What the left defines as social justice, I call narcissism, because it is narcissism to assume that your definition of justice is universal.

Not to hijack the conversation, but it's also narcissism to believe that the climate, as it is now, is the ultimate climate. I suppose we can project this theory on to the "global warming" controversy.

33 posted on 06/06/2007 6:36:09 PM PDT by Marie (Unintended consequences.)
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To: LiteKeeper
Very well put...and very wise!

Thank you LK. I try to pound wisdom into my children as well as I can. (My daughter gets it - my son... well, he still thinks he can out-smart reality.)

34 posted on 06/06/2007 6:39:23 PM PDT by Marie (Unintended consequences.)
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To: HanneyBean

Britain is becoming increasingly more centralized, despite Wales, Scotland, and N Ireland having new Parliaments. The are attempts to bring in new laws which will effectively prohibit criticism of minority groups;there might be an even more generous Dole (welfare) system, and a bureaucracy bigger than the US Army.
I don’t blame the Liberal lobby for this I blame the British public for taking a bigger interest in Soccer, alchohol, and topless actresses than in what is being done in their name. After all a nation gets the politicians it deserves.
The States, however, is more a federation of 51 countries (if you lke) each with its own Capital, Parliament (or is it Assembly) and Police force. Don’t they even have their own Army - the National Guard ?
Any way the point I am trying to make Hanneybean, is that yes, there are parts of America where this loony liberal mindset may be catching on, but in the long term your 51 states are a firewall against socialism, and equally, against Nazism.
So to sum it up, American liberalism will prove to be a here today, gone tomorrow, idea.


35 posted on 06/07/2007 1:47:08 AM PDT by jabbermog
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To: Marie
Not to hijack the conversation, but it's also narcissism to believe that the climate, as it is now, is the ultimate climate. I suppose we can project this theory on to the "global warming" controversy

Well, it goes right along with the rest of the left's narcissism, so, why not? I've thought so as well.

When I was deep into the study of my own narcissism, I had the thought that if I subtracted everything I said that came out of my narcissism, I'd have nothing left to say. The Democrats could well be the same.

36 posted on 06/07/2007 5:55:47 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: Marie
One other interesting thing: I attend a prayer group with a bunch of well-meaning liberals, who all attend a social justice group.

We were discussing global warming and environmentalism one day ( I have a degree in earth science, so they were asking me if I thought global warming was a problem).I pointed out that the planet had had many climates in it's past history, and would always be changing. That no matter how many restrictions one placed on a wilderness area, it's natural state would inevitably change over time, even without human intervention.NOthing can really be preserved.

I asked them; what would you do if everything was OK, just as it was ? I thought it very telling that they all became visibly agitated. They simply are unable to imagine a situation where they are not needed to save something.

That shows that their helping is all about them. In fact, I think it's one reason narcissists are drwn to environmentalism and animals. The earth, and animals are not going to argue back that they don't want to be helped, as many people will do. (remember the troops answer to the attempt by Kerry to be their un-asked for saviour?). It makes their self-congratulations easier.

37 posted on 06/07/2007 6:12:41 AM PDT by Red Boots
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To: neverdem
Good article. My teacher has flatly said that buddhism and leftism are incompatible. Entirely antithetical for just the reasons this article points out. Compassion without wisdom (ie idiot compassion) creates more suffering. A lot more.

"Sometimes the most compassionate thing you can do for someone is beat the living crap out of them!" - (my teacher) Gotta love him! ;^)

38 posted on 06/16/2007 9:33:10 AM PDT by TigersEye (Hope and fear are two sides of a coin that bind you to worldly concerns. Render it unto the world.)
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To: jabbermog

I know this reply is a month late, but thank you for Getting It! Now if you could only explain it to our Blue Staters...


39 posted on 07/04/2007 8:58:31 PM PDT by Slings and Arrows (Gaza: Your one-stop schadenfreude entertainment center.)
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To: Slings and Arrows

What is a Blue Stater ?


40 posted on 07/05/2007 1:51:36 AM PDT by jabbermog
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