I certainly respect your opinion, and understand the premise of your column; however, when it comes to government (i.e. taxpayers) subsidizing religious institutions, there can be no exceptions. However good, however altruistic the intention, in the United States, we have a Constitution that clearly states that government will not establish or show favoritism when it comes to religion. Clearly, paying the tab on a restoration job for church buildings, would be showing favoritism.
Where would the "exceptions" stop? Perhaps the Hispanic community could lobby for restoration of Sacred Heart Church, since it has been established as the official parish of that community. Perhaps the Muslim community could lobby for help in establishing or converting a church into a Mosque. Perhaps members of the Asian community could lobby for a Buddhist Temple and park so they can better practice their religious faith. Perhaps Bellevue Baptist could lobby for grants to build seniors housing since so many of it members have a need. I think you see where this is going. This is the problem with "faith based" government.
If the two historical churches need help with restoration, they should be more creative. Seeking private donations, holding fundraisers, soliciting volunteers, or asking members of the business community for money would be legal and acceptable ways to generate money to restore the churches. Forcing taxpayers to pay is unacceptable and illegal.