*ahem* *rerails thread*
Just to clarify, the Protestants (at least in England, during Henry VIII's reformation) weren't against religious art entirely, they were simply wanted to limit its use and scope. They felt the large, ornate sculptures and paintings favored by the Catholics were too distracting, especially in a church, and also helped to increase the divide between the clergy and the parishoners; but they had nothing particularly against religious illustrations in books, for example.
As an interesting comparison, the Islamic faith has, at many times and places in its history, had similar, very strict prohibitions against putting any figures, human, animal, or plant, into its artwork, even secular art. Representations of the prophet Muhammed are quite rare, having nearly always been forbidden (and look at the furor over that cartoon featuring Muhammed a while back in Europe), but living things in general aren't often painted or sculpted, calligraphy being the most common art form in most Muslim cultures. There's no clear prohibition in the Qur'an, but it does say that honoring anything alongside God is a sin. Some sects also feel that it's sacriligious in another way, because the artist dares to think that he or she can reproduce something that was made by a divine hand and/or in the image of Allah.