Before digging in, I want to be clear that I am not at all pushing back against intuition, as many may try to do. I believe that intuitions are generally very helpful, and often accurate - provided our underlying assumptions are correct. So, for instance, were one to stand on a 30 foot platform, intuition would say that the individual would be hurt if he or she jumped. However, if we find out that this platform is on the moon, we would probably agree that due to the gravitational difference, the individual would probably be just fine. That understanding may not do much to change the faulty intuition – that natural knowledge brought forth from both our nature and experience - of someone preparing to jump from the platform on the moon for the first time. Despite their intellectual knowledge that the jump was safe, the individual preparing to jump would likely still feel very anxious about jumping. Our general intuition is right, but it's based on specific parameters - being on Earth with a given gravity. Moving into the moral realm, if one was asked whether killing an individual is wrong, the intuitive response is "yes." But if we set up the situation so that the individual you would kill is in the act of attempting to murder others, that answer would change for most people. Especially in the moral realm, one must almost always ask questions to clarify the situation so as to assess underlying assumptions. So although intuitions can be wrong, I think they are generally very important pieces of information - or at least good starting points.
Given Hitchens's intuition about God and morality we must first assess if he makes any faulty assumptions. One major assumption Hitchens has inherent in his allegation is that God is not in a position to tell we humans what to do. While there are certainly assumptions about what legitimate authority is, I believe the big issue is that Hitchens is assuming a God who would tell humans what to do is selfish. He is a God who wants to impose his will on others, against their will, for his pleasure. Those are some huge assumptions! Does Hitchens think that all authority is this way, or does he think that some authority imposes law for some good outcome? I would imagine he says the latter, as "do not murder" seems to be a fairly universally acknowledged good law, which I imagine he wants upheld by authorities. So really, Hitchens doesn't have a problem with authority, he just denies that the God of the universe has the authority, moral knowledge, or benevolence to accurately judge what is good. Hitchens, it seems, knows better than God does (if God exists). And since Hitchens knows that free love is obviously good and not immoral, God must not exist, or God must be a tyrant. Sound logic, right? Think about this - Hitchens is saying that if God exists, he is evil because he uses his desires as a baseline to tell others what morality is. Yet what Hitchens is saying is that he knows God is evil...how? According to Hitchens's moral baseline and what he desires (sexual freedom being one of those things). Hitchens knows what is good, and he is judging God by his own desires and standards. But according to Hitchens's logic, judging another's actions based on one's personal standards is immorality in its highest form! It's dictatorial! If Hitchens values logical consistency, Hitchens seems to be forced to then call himself evil, and his judgment on sexual ethics compromised.
Regardless of the internal inconsistency inherent in Hitchens's moral judgment upon God, I'd like to assume Hitchens doesn't have this internal problem. Let's assume that Hitchens is right to hold God morally accountable here. Let's assume that our intuition is correct about God being overly dictatorial and oppressive if he lords his reign over unimportant minutia of our lives. The assumptive question we must then ask is "what defines minutia?" Where is the line between trivial and vital?
On "Star Trek: The Next Generation," there was a crew member named Data. Data was an android - a robot that was extremely human like. Data differed from humans in two easily discernible ways. First, Data could process information extremely quickly. Second, and most importantly, Data did not show any emotions. Throughout the course of the many seasons, we continued to see Data progress towards experiencing emotions, as crew members tried to convey the importance of human emotion to him - particularly in the realm of humor. Each time a show focused on Data moving towards gaining emotions, viewers were expectant, desiring Data to develop the capacity of emotions - because that's a basic characteristic of being human and enjoying life. In the grand scheme of life, humor isn't that important. We can live without laughing. But we all recognize that this unnecessary aspect of life - something one might even call a minute part - is extremely important to expressing our humanity and living a fully human life.
There are obviously a ton of questions an android/human situation raises, but the key characteristic I want to focus on is our intuitive recognition that emotions are good things. Even deeper than that, because we recognize that the capacity for emotions are at least part of what it means to be fully human. To want Data to take on humor, then, we are really recognizing the desire for another being (or object) to be like us. We recognize that to fail to have the capacity or nature that we as humans do is to miss out on much. So when we desire for Data to gain emotions and become, at least in a sense, human, we are really saying we are disappointed or sad with who Data is because he should be more like us in certain ways. We are not hopeful that he become like us solely for our gain, though his understanding of emotions will certainly allow him to relate to his crew in a deeper way, providing much deeper relationships. Rather, for Data's sake, we are hopeful that he will attain emotions and a sort of humanity.
Now let's go back to the assertion that Hitchens was making. Hitchens essentially argues that we intuitively know the God of the Bible is a selfish God who wants to subjugate us because he wants us to follow guidelines he lays out. The "problem" assumes that God is vindictive and is not out for our good. But the Bible lays out fairly clearly that while God seeks his glory, he made humanity specially, and desires humanity's fulfillment. John Piper argues that this fulfillment is achieved by glorying in God and enjoying him, and if that's true, then God upholding that which provides us with the greatest possible joy - his own glory - is God seeking good for his people.
A God who knows himself, knows his creation, and knows all truth knows best what his creatures need to live fulfilled lives according to their nature. While Hitchens may want to maintain autonomy over decisions he thinks are most enjoyable to himself according to the nature he thinks he needs to indulge, if the God of the Bible is true, then it makes sense that God would know better than Hitchens what is ultimately fulfilling to mankind, and what is and is not minutia. Understanding what we do about STD's, emotional bonding in sex, family structure, and so forth, I would think that were Hitchens to get down from his soapbox, he could see that there are some very obvious ways monogamy may be beneficial. While not all of God's decrees are clearly observable from a utilitarian sense, the two often go together.
Now imagine a god who knows what the greatest experiences in life are and knows what will provide beings he created with the greatest fulfillment and satisfaction. Imagine that being not declaring guidelines and road maps for that satisfaction, but rather sitting back indifferently. Would this god that Dr. Hitchens prefers be better, or worse? Without a doubt, this God would be at best, indifferent, and at worst, sadistic, as he sits back watching creatures suffer without aiding in achieving their satisfaction, or conversely, passively contributing to their pain and suffering..
I believe the Data analogy is great in showing us that desiring another to be like us does not have to be an inherently selfish desire. While it may often be selfish to desire another being to be like you, it is not always the case. When we think of God, the creator of all creation, it makes sense that he would know how we would best be fulfilled. If we were made in his image to be in relationship with him, it makes sense that morality and fulfillment would stem from aligning ourselves with him. But on no system - theistic or atheistic - would humanity aligning themselves with Dr. Hitchens make intuitive sense.
There is a second horn to Hitchens's assertion that must also be addressed. Hitchens may grant that it is possible to desire another to be like oneself. But, Hitchens may then say that love leaves the picture when the assimilator inflicts punishment upon the one he desires to assimilate for not doing so. Surely a God who loves mankind and seeks his good wouldn't inflict punishment on transgressors, especially the kind of harm laid out in the Bible (eternal punishment).
To answer this second portion, I am going to shift my analogy. The best and most obvious analogy for people continuing in actions that are not in their own best interest is that of addiction and intervention. As a society, we recognize the value of stepping into someone's life to assist them. Now in intervention, there isn't necessarily direct punishment. Many times, the consequences of addiction are natural. If there are other consequences from the family, they are often indirect punishment. For instance, if parents were giving money or aid to their child who has become a drug addict, the parents will likely withdraw that support. Withdraw of that money may lead the child to go hungry, to go without shelter, or to go without medical aid. However, those consequences are really a result of the choice to continue in addiction and use given funds to supply that addiction rather than use them appropriately.
I believe this is exactly the type of thing that happens when man is "punished" for not assimilating to God's desires and guidelines. As C.S. Lewis writes, Hell is simply a place of self-inflicted punishment and is locked from the inside. Addiction is a prison that is locked only by the individual making the choice to continue in addiction. Likewise, God's punishment many times boils down to natural consequences and self-inflicted harm. While there are certainly examples of God inflicting direct punishment, these were often done to protect others, just as physical intervention is sometimes needed with the addict.
In the end, the Bible portrays a God who wants mankind to be conformed to his image, because the creator knows this will be the most fulfilling thing for him. While God allows us our autonomy, our sin and rebellion in this autonomy cause us to reap that which we sow - instant gratification, long term natural consequences, and self-inflicted emotional distress manifesting itself through guilt, anger, and a host of other states. Eventually, our continued rebellion will separate us from God forever, as we distance ourselves from him in a cell of utter darkness and autonomy, locked from the inside. But by God's grace, that is where we would all end up.