Christianity was not founded on compassion it was founded on the violent, hateful Old Testament and created by those seeking to wield greater power during the embryonic years of the Roman Empire. It just happens to have, in between these two things, a glimmer of niceness in the form of the Gospels which sadly Christians don't bother with too much. Sodom and Gomorrah for instance... all these people going on about how those evil sodomites were wanting to rape some angels but does anyone even stop to think what a bastard Lot was for offering his own daughters to those degenerates?? Doesn't that make you think "God sure kept some strange company"??? If God hung around with Lot, a man willing to let his daughters get raped, then I'd say he's not the sort of deity I'd like to be associated with.
Those who propound that religion is usually a force for good are not being honest. Religion can be a force for good only when there are good people involved in it, and they can be a force for good without the religion thus rendering the religious input to be null.
Religions are founded on fear. Fear of the afterlife and what might happen to you. It's a primal fear, to be scared of death and the unknown. And it's one the religious prey on time and again. "Do this or you'll go to Hell". What sort of compassion is that?
Don't worry Jesus died for our salvation!
Mmm... lovely. My salvation is based on the pain and suffering of another. What compassion!! God must be a truly nice guy. And what sin did Jesus come to erase? Original sin. Committed by Adam and Eve. Who didn't exist. So either Jesus was not the Son of God or God made him die FOR NO REASON.
And even if we accept him as the Son of God surely true compassion would make a Christian pray the following "Look Lord, thanks for letting Jesus die to save me, but really I'd prefer not to have my salvation at the cost of another's life. So why don't you let him not suffer on the cross and allow him to live a normal life in first century Judea and I'll take my chances, thanks all the same." Isn't that the nice, right thing for a Christian to do? Instead they selfishly carp on about their salvation based upon the blood of another. SICK.
Why, then, do we hear so little about compassion from the religious? Because whether they are religious or secular, people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. Certainly the religious traditions have a deeply intransigent strain. But we have a choice. We can either emphasise this intolerance, as extremists and fundamentalists do, or we can make a concerted effort to make the compassionate voice of religion audible in our troubled world.We hear so little about compassion from the religious because the religious don't care about others. They are in it for their own salvation and willing not only to believe lies but to pass them on simply to keep themselves out of "Hell". Religion is a selfish and destructive pursuit.
Do we need God and/or religion to be compassionate? Of course not. That is why we hope that atheists and agnostics, instead of berating religion (a policy that, as history shows, tends to make religious movements more extreme), will also sign up to the charter, working alongside the religious for a more compassionate world.
And God darn those atheistic being all truthful and pointing out the religious lies. Who needs honesty when we can all just lie to each other and pretend to get on all in the name of a "compassion" based on false premises.