Dear Intelligent Reader

I’m an occasional reader of Free Inquiry, which is a magazine that promotes secularism, science and skepticism.  It’s typically filled with hard-hitting, in-your-face style articles that make no apology for asking tough questions and coming to strong evidence-based conclusions.  Some of the topics discussed in recent issues include:

The founding of the Mormon church

How Mother Teresa let her parents suffer in the name of God


The pagan roots of the Christmas holiday

Horrible picture of letter that looks way better on my phone

I like the magazine well enough, but I have never subscribed to it.  Still, I get regular mailing from the publisher, the Council of Secular Humanism, asking me to.  And that’s fine.  I’ve subscribed to skeptical magazines before.  And I’ve been a member or financial contributor to organizations like the James Randi Educational Foundation, Skeptics Society and Committee for Skeptical Inquiry.  So I get it.  My name is on a list.

But I hate having my ass kissed!  And Free Inquiry typically begins their correspondence by addressing me as “Intelligent Reader.”  Maybe this seems like a weird thing to be put off by.  Surely, many folks like being called intelligent, or don’t mind being addressed as such in letters.  But I really can’t stand it.  And I guess what bugs me about it in this capacity is that I know in the pages to follow, I’m going to be asked for money.  It’s the same type of thing I hate when Entertainment Weekly or TIME magazines try to get me back by calling me “Valued Customer” or whatever.  Just get to the point!

So, that’s all I really wanted to say.  I dislike getting sucked up to when I know it’s just for reasons related to money.  I will still buy Free Inquiry when I see an issue I want to check out at my local bookstore, and I’ll continue supporting, at least in some small way, similar efforts to promote secular and skeptical causes.  But if I wanted to be sweet talked into forking over money at random times, I’d just start dating again.