This one is from his section on the war on drugs:
"...the law cannot make a wicked person virtuous. According to Aquinas, God's grace alone can accomplish such a thing. The law is simply incompetent here. What the law can do is provide the peace and order within which men can conduct their affairs. But so much of what is important in human life takes place far removed from law, and in the domain of civil society, families and communities. These salutary influences, apart from the state, have a responsibility to improve the moral conduct of individuals. We ought not to shirk our own responsibility by looking to politicians--who are not exactly known for living beyond moral reproach themselves--to carry out so important a function." [pages 126-127 in the hard cover version published 4/08]
It occurs to me that part of the challenge in the return to a civil society that does not expect legislation of morality lies in the fact that our institutions are decrepit, our families are scattered, and our communities are spider web thin. That is why it is scary to think about giving up governmental programs to protect us. We feel exposed already.