Please let me state my dismay that your paper and others have placed Rep. Gabrielle Giffords within the Jewish people. Beyond the issue of patrilineal descent, there is the issue of inclusion of a family (the congresswoman and her family) where the practices of two faiths are present.
The inclusion of such a couple waters down the definition of Jewish identity to render being Jewish meaningless, since eventually ideas and practices of Christianity (the majority faith) would be absorbed into liberal-Reform Judaism and the Jewish community. This would also so split the Jewish community that Orthodox and liberal- Reform Jews in the United States would no longer be able to recognize themselves as part of the same community.
Don’t get me wrong. The congresswoman sounds like a lovely lady. She should have a complete recovery. But should she be part of the Jewish community? The answer is no.