- self-righ·teous (-'rI-ch&s, adj.)¹
- convinced of one's own righteousness especially in contrast with the actions and beliefs of others : narrow-mindedly moralistic
- nar·row-mind·ed ("nar-O-'mIn-d&d, "nar-&-, adj.)¹
- lacking in tolerance or breadth of vision : PETTY
I suppose maybe this describes me, in the very broadest sense of the word. I do believe that my personal morals are the best available. Then again, if I didn't think that, they wouldn't be my morals. So I guess if you want to think of it that way, everyone is self-righteous.
But I don't think the definition is supposed to be quite that broad. I don't see myself as being accurately described as narrow-minded in any aspect of my personality, for one thing. Everything I do and everything I believe is a result of careful thought and a lot of option-weighing. And I'll admit readily that what's right for me isn't right for everyone. My personal moral code doesn't work for anyone who isn't me. And that's a lot of people. Let's see, subtract one from the total population of the universe...
People who believe in something (like "homosexuality is wrong") without any real thought put into it ("because the Bible says so" does not constitute thought) can be described as self-righteous, especially if they try to force-feed their opinion to the rest of the population. But I don't do that and I never have. In fact high on my list of morals is to not shove my morals down others' throats. I may write them down somewhere (hmmm, like this web page?), but I won't be going up to someone on the street and start telling them how to run their life. Just writing them down lets you choose to read them if you want or ignore the whole page and go somewhere you find more interesting.
Got a problem with that?
1: Pronunciation key:
For explanations of other pronunciation symbols -- see Guide To Pronunciation.