George Bush is a religious man, so when he ran into difficulties in Iraq he decided he would seek the help of Billy Graham, the revivalist reverend. He visited Graham in North Carolina. Graham showed him a red telephone which was his 'line to God'. Bush said he wanted to use it, and Graham told him he was welcome, but it would cost him $1,000,000 dollars to pl;ace a call. Bush paid, and made the telephone call.
It did not work. A month or so later, things were as bad as they had always been in Iraq. So Bush sought help from a religious leader again, this time straying from his sect to seek the advice of the Pope. He traveled to the Vatican and met with the Pope, who explained that he too had a line to God, but his connection was sure to deliver more reliable results , and the price for the call was $5,000,000. Bush swallowed hard at the expense, but he was in trouble, so he paid and used the phone.
Again, the results were poor. He spoke to other Christian leaders as well, but nothing seemed to help, and he had spent a lot of money.
Finally, he talked to the Armenian leader in Etchmiadzin. He had resisted doing this because he knew he would not be welcome, thanks to his stand on the Armenian Genocide resolution, and in any case, the Armenians were just a minor Christian sect and were way down on his list of influential religious leaders. On the other hand he was running out of Christian groups to talk with and was not about to stray to other religions for advice. The Jews would charge way too much, and the Muslims were all terrorists and the source of the problem.
He flew out to Armenia where he was greeted by His Holiness the Catholicos of All Armenians. The Catholicos did not bring up any unpleasant matters. After a tour of the grounds and a nice lunch, the President finally swallows his pride and humbly asked the Catholicos if he had a 'line to God', and whether he could use it.
“Sure”, the Catholicos answered, “it is the red telephone next to the khachkar display in the anteroom to my office. But there is a charge.” Bush braced himself for the worst, he could see that the Armenians needed a lot of money for renovations, to build churches, many other buildings, and in spite of the hospitality he knew they did not really like him.
The Catholicos said, “The cost is $10″. Bush was shocked. He blurted out, ” The Graham Crusade in South Carolina charged me $1-million, and the Pope in the Vatican charged me $5-million”.
The Catholicos patiently replied, “Surely you realize, Mr. President, that in Armenia it is just a local call.”