National Review Online writer Mike Potemra gives us the shocking news:
[H]aving just attended a discussion between Hitchens and Msgr. Lorenzo Albacete at New York's Pierre Hotel, I think his case is even more interesting than that. In the course of the discussion, Hitchens claimed not to be a reductionist; he said mankind cannot do without the "numinous" and (I think this was his other phrase) the "transcendent." (He located this in, for example, Verdi's "Requiem.")
Now the numinous and the transcendent are exactly what we believers mean by God. Hitchens says what he doesn't believe in is the "supernatural" — but that's merely a quibble about words. If you use the word "nature" — as so many people do — as interchangeable with "what is" or "being," then God is not "super-natural" at all, because — as Aquinas, chiefly, reminds us — God is the pure act of Being itself, Ipsum Esse Subsistens.
Many times during the debate, Hitchens ranted (it's not too strong a word; I was there) against religions. And just as often, Msgr. Albacete responded, "I couldn't agree with you more."
Finally, and ironically, what Hitchens is is not an atheist at all, but a Puritan — and I have good news for him: When he meets the real God, he will not be disappointed. He will not feel "oppressed" by a celestial "Big Brother;" he will find the one in whom we cannot rest "until we rest in thee" (to quote another famous person who converted). And he'll finally have mercy on believers — we were, after all, doing our best.